The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday May 20th

Reflections marks the music department’s first big concert of the year

(Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone)
(Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone)

By Chelsie Derman
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Earthy music engulfed Kendall Hall’s mainstage March 5 at 8 p.m. for the music department’s first big concert of the year: Reflections. 

“The atmosphere was very positive,” said Ethan Kaiser, a junior political science major and a part of Concert Band. “There was a mix of slow pieces and fast pieces in the Concert Band and Wind Ensemble repertoire. The Concert Band focused more on folk songs.”

The Reflections concert had performances from both the College Band and the Wind Ensemble, each group playing four songs. The concert began with the College Band performing “At Twilight” by Tyler S. Grant, “English Folk Song Suite” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Shenandoah” by Frank Ticheli and “Opa!” 

Kaiser said “Opa!” was the most fun to play. 

“(Opa!) had a lot of interesting melodies and solos,” Kaiser said. “The Opa shout at the end was nice.”

Kaiser said the Concert Band used one particular technique that struck him the most.

“In ‘English Folksong Suite,’ certain portions we had only one player per part play the melody while the rest of the section rested,” Kaiser said. “When the part repeated the whole ensemble played their part. This was done to provide a lot of contrast between the soft version of the melody and the louder repeated portion of the same melody.”

After the intermission, the Wind Ensemble came to the stage with their performances of “Sexteto Místico” by Heitor Villa-Lobos, “Splinter” by Holly Harrison, “For This Brave New Day” by Steve Danyew, “Four Scottish Dances” by Malcolm Arnold and arranged by John Paynter. 

Eric Laprade, the Director of Bands and conductor of the Wind Ensemble, was particularly excited about this concert.

“This one’s fun,” Laprade said four days before the concert. “This one’s fun because we’re going to play a couple of the pieces from CBDNA (College Band Directors National Association’s conference) on March 5, so anytime we get to play music again is exciting because hopefully we’re a little bit more comfortable with it, but it’s been a busy semester so far.”

Laprade said that, despite it only being a little over a month into the semester, the music department has already done so many things. They have given a campus performance, completed a recording session and traveled to Baltimore for the CBDNA conference. Now they are giving another concert.

“The students are working hard, but it’s a fun program that I think they’re excited to share,” Laprade said. “This will be our first big concert of the semester. It should be a good concert.”

Mikayla Delano, a sophomore music performance major who plays the piccolo for the Wind Ensemble, said her favorite piece that she performed was Danyew’s “For This Brave New Day.”

“The piece gave every instrument a way to project and present themselves to the audience,” Delano said. “Also, I love listening to the euphonium solo in the piece.”

The Wind Ensemble had used several cool techniques during their performance, from an elephant noise in the “funky yet slightly wrong” section of “Splinter” (as the piece is broken into several sections, with several drastic changes of melody) to the sound of calming birds and nature in “For This Brave New Day.”

“My favorite technique was flutter tonguing used in the piece ‘Splinter’ by Holly Harrison,” Delano said. “Flutter Tonguing is when you either growl or alveolar trill into the flute.”

Not only did the Wind Ensemble attempt interesting techniques, but the concert featured an uncommon piccolo duet in “Four Scottish Dances.”

“Having two piccolos can be very unusual in a piece because of tuning issues,” Delano said. “As long as the two piccolo players tune together and listen for each other everything will sound great.”

According to Delano, students have been preparing for the concert since the first week of the spring semester — and their preparation paid off.

“This is my sixth concert,” said Kaiser, “and it was probably one of the best ones I remember from recent memory.”


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