The Lake Country Brass Quintet

In The News

Area quintet to entertain at Bush visit
Feb 5, 2002  By Don Clasen, Staff writer - The Lake Country Reporter

The Lake Country's Sterling & Brass quintet is brushing up on their rendition of "Hail to the Chief."

Wayne Fraederich, Chuck Kuhtz, Stan Laasch, Jack Schulze and Todd Wenzel have, since 1996, become well known as Sterling & Brass.

During that time they have played at Nixon Park's summer concerts, on area lakes and at weddings, corporate, family and civic functions, festivals, parades and religious ceremonies.

But they have a special gig on Feb. 11.

The occasion? They've been chosen to play for President Bush when he appears for Gov. Scott McCallum's fundraiser at Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel.

"We're extremely excited," said Schulze after learning that Sterling & Brass was chosen for the honor.

Although not knowing the final details for their big night, Schulze said he expects to play background music for the reception.

He said the event calls for a VIP reception to precede the highlight of the evening - a 7 p.m. dinner at which Bush is scheduled to speak.

"We plan to get there about 4:30," said Schulze. "We may end up coming earlier if the Secret Service goes through our stuff."

Although plans for the presidential visit are not finalized, Schultz said he has learned, "we'll be fed," which is something to toot about considering the event is a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser.

Schulze and his cohorts, who all hail from the Lake Country area and have at one time been members of the Hartland Community Band, plan to play background music. "We do a little Dixieland jazz and some classical music," said the trombone player, who works as a consultant for Imperial Crown Marketing in Hartland.

The quintet is also known for audience-pleasing styles of baroque, ragtime and swing. They've even played polkas.

Schulze is a member of the 132nd Army Band of the Wisconsin National Guard which, like the Marine Corps Band is considered the president's band, is considered the governor's band.

It was through that organization that Schulze was able to volunteer Sterling & Brass for the big gig a week from tonight.

"It stems from the job we played for the governor back in September," Schulze explained. He said the group played for the September 11th Fund at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

"I made some contacts when I heard Bush was coming," he went on.

Through the miracle of the World Wide Web, an aide to the governor heard sound clips of Sterling & Brass music and learned about the musicians.

"We do a lot of things for the governor," Schulze added.

Their varied routine, he said, includes "some Glen Miller and Duke Ellington. We'll probably mix in some patriot music like 'America the Beautiful' and 'You're a Grand Old Flag.'"

Sterling & Brass' repertoire ranges from classic to contemporary music. All the members have a diversified, impressive background as musicians.

Schulze makes his home in Hartland as does Kuhtz, who is an investment representative and certified financial planner with Edward Jones in Hartland. Kuhtz plays the trumpet.

Fraederich, the group's arranger, plays the French horn. The Oconomowoc resident teaches instrumental and general music in the Pewaukee school system.

Laasch, an Iowa native, plays the tuba. The certified public accountant plans to move from Brookfield to a home he and his wife, Carla, are building in Hartland.

Wenzel, a Delafield resident, owns Heartland Software Development Inc. When not specializing in Microsoft technologies, he plays the trumpet.

Are all Sterling & Brass members Bush supporters?

"Well, four of us are," replied Schulze.

But to borrow from the song, "Chances Are," they'll all undoubtedly be Bush backers the night of Feb. 11.
©Lake Country Reporter 2002


For more information or to reserve Sterling & Brass for an event, contact Jack Schulze at 262-367-4995 or Also, visit our website at

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