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A Collaboration That’s Out of This World

On March 22nd, the Chamber Orchestra and Wind Symphony joined together to perform their annual Composer’s Concert. This year’s featured composer was Gustav Holst. This concert would not have been possible without the preparation and rigorous rehearsal time from both the band and the orchestra, individually and as a full ensemble.

Playing with the orchestra in a concert didn't seem 'normal' at first. I was used to just playing with the band for concerts. As we got closer to the concert date, it felt like there was more music being played in the room, rather than just woodwind, and brass instruments. It was something different that made music more interesting,” said saxophonist, Paige Meyers.

A lot of the students liked playing the music of Holst, especially senior viola player Lukas Jaeger: “I really enjoyed playing the music of Holst. He is a very versatile and accomplished composer, as was evident in the music that [was] performed at this concert. He was a multifaceted composer. There is so much variety in his music. It's both fun and enjoyable to listen to and play.”

There were a couple of people from the band that thought playing with the orchestra would be difficult. “Trying to figure out where we were was hard, because most of the music that we played with the orchestra is older music, so there are just cue points instead of measure numbers,” said Meyers. “The differences in style and playing was hard. It's sometimes difficult to adapt to the different conducting styles.”

Others students were excited for the experience: “It always sounds cool, and there will be more parts to play than just your section,” said oboe player, Kate Riordan.

The renowned composer wrote for band and orchestra. Each ensemble played a few songs by Holst. Wind Symphony played “A Moorside Suite,” and the first movement of “First Suite in E-flat,” and Chamber Orchestra played “Gigue,” and “Country Song.” The full orchestra (Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra) came together to play one of Holst’s best known pieces, The Planets. They played “Mars” and “Jupiter,” two movements from this famous suite.

The concert turned out remarkably well, and the audience enjoyed it. “The band and orchestra worked well together and the orchestral aspect to the music we played gave the piece a whole new comprehension of the composer, and what his music is like,” said Meyers. The band and the orchestra both benefitted by playing with each other. “Playing with the band was helpful, because there was percussion. The rhythm instruments are very helpful in keeping time,” says Jaeger. The band and orchestra had a great concert, and are excited to play together again!

Maria Gervasio
April, 2016