Symphonic Band to perform second ‘varied’ semester concert

BY DANIELLE BETTENDORF – STAFF WRITER

The Symphonic Band will hold their second concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 in Stretansky Concert Hall.

The band will perform “Symphony No. 1, Lord of the Rings” by Dutch composer Johan de Meij, “When Jesus Wept” by American composer William Schuman, “Stomp” by American composer David Biedenbender, “Danzón no. 2” by Mexican composer Arturo M·rquez and “The Circus Bee” by American composer Henry Fillmore.

Eric Hinton, associate professor of music and the director of bands, said: “I always try to keep the music as varied as possible in terms of composers that we perform and the styles that we perform. The program is well constructed in that there’s a lot of variety in it. You get quite a breadth of styles and countries: Holland is represented, Mexico is represented and of course the U.S. I try to do that every time. I try not to be too much of any one thing.”

Senior Jennifer Wendt, who plays the French horn, said: “I feel like it focuses a lot on 20th century music and more modern styles of musical expression. There’s a lot of different modern pieces, different sounds that you’re not necessarily used to hearing in an ensemble concert.”

Sophomore Olivia Schaffer, who plays the oboe, said the music is also less conventional than in previous performances.

Senior clarinet player David Deiter said: “They’ll have multiple aspects that make it different, whether it’s different tonalities going on at one time, whether the rhythms are just completely unexpected and consistently change. Brains just naturally like patterns, so if they continue to shift all the time you have to be so much more engaged.”

The music also has students expanding across different instruments, said Deiter.

“Some of the pieces challenge us to use different instruments that aren’t necessarily used. As a clarinet player, I’m expected to be able to play all the clarinets, so it’s nice for me to have music where I might play some more obscure instruments,” Deiter said.

The band typically performs only one concert per semester, according to Hinton. This has shortened the amount of time the students have to prepare for the concert.

Wendt said: “It’s been a very interesting experience to shorten the amount of time that we needed to prepare. I think there’s a lot more individual responsibility with that, because we can’t just rely on rehearsals to get all of the music down. We have to be able to work outside of our rehearsals to be able to come together as an ensemble.”

The emphasis on individual contribution is a step toward professionalism, said Deiter.

“I think it’s more of a realistic perspective, because as a professional musician in any sense, you’re expected to show up, to be

able to perform and do it. If you can’t, they’re going to ask you to leave and call the next person on the list or they’re just not going to ask you back again. With a professional job, you may only get one or two rehearsals with the entire group before you actually perform, so I think it’s a push from the entire department to just be a little closer to the professional realm,” Deiter said.

While the students focus on individual work, there is still a sense of community among the band. Hinton said despite the large number of new students, many members of band assist the new students with their work.

“I would say about a third of the band is new students. The more experienced students are doing a good job of helping, and the younger students learn from their experience,” Hinton said.