Spring provides performance opportunities

Photo by: Nick Conley

 

The music department is presenting one last chance to hear the band play something other than Pomp and Circumstance.

“Each semester, the different performing groups on campus will have concerts,” junior horn player Shelby Stanaland said. “This one involves the Symphonic Band and the Jazz Ensemble.”

This is the last time students will have the chance to hear the band and the ensemble play this semester, with the exception of graduation.

Stanaland says that graduation may not be the best time to hear the true talent of the members.

“It’s really tiring playing Pomp and Circumstance over and over again,” Stanaland said. “One thing that makes it a little better is the fact that the Chamber Orchestra is playing with us, and that will hopefully give the piece a lot more oomph. The concert is still the last real thing that we’re doing, however.”

Professors of Music John Fletcher and Heath Jones conduct the Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble, respectively.

The bands will perform songs they have been learning and practicing all semester long.

According to Stanaland, there are a few songs that were used last semester, but for the most part the program is made up of new pieces.

“One of the songs the Jazz Ensemble will be playing is called Shake Your Bones,” Stanaland said. “It’s a high energy Latin dance song, so students can look forward to that. In the Symphonic Band, we’re playing a piece that’s very slow and dramatic with lots of long, extended notes. That one is called All Soul’s Day. So you’ll get a lot of variety.”

One of the other pieces the Symphonic Band will perform is a medley of American Dances.

“The medley is a suite of five really upbeat marches,” senior bassoon player Paul Walden said. “We’re also playing a group of songs from the musical Les Miserables, which will hopefully get people interested in coming to the concert.”

Band members are given music three or four weeks in advance. This gives them the opportunity to perfect the pieces before they have to perform them.

According to some students, balancing learning music with schoolwork can be a challenge, but Walden said it is still fun despite the challenges he faces.

“It can be difficult depending on how hard the music is to learn, but it’s worth it,” Walden said. “Sometimes it can be a hassle, but I love it.”

In correlation with the spring concert, the Symphonic Band and Jazz ensemble are currently on tour as a recruiting tool for Oklahoma Christian University.

This year, the ensemble is headed to Northern Oklahoma, Kansas and the Texas Panhandle.

“We go on tour every year,” Stanaland said. “Every other year, however, we have a really long two week tour, and the in between years we have ‘mini-tours’ that are only a few days. Last year, we had a big two-week tour where we went all over the Southeast. We play at schools and play for all the different grades and help spread the word about Oklahoma Christian.”

When the ensembles go on tour, they do not have to pay for hotels.

Instead, they stay with people who are members of the churches they perform for.

The different families within the church will house a few students.

Members of the band and ensemble hope that students who attend the concert have a nice time.

They also said they hope they can set aside the craziness of school to come and listen to some good music.

“Students can gain a great afternoon of relaxing music,” Walden said. “They’ll get to listen to some good music and see their friends perform. Plus it’s free.”

The band and ensemble will play a wide variety of songs for the concert.

“I think that we have a lot of really interesting pieces this year,” junior auxiliary percussion player Jillian Bryson said. “Especially with the songs from Les Miserables, I think students will have a good time going.”

The spring band concert will be on April 7 at 2:30 p.m. in Hardeman Auditorium.

 

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