Excitement danced to the inviting song of dozens of instruments playing different tunes. The performers of the College’s wind ensemble fit in one last warm-up before the lights were lowered in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall on Nov. 29.
The College’s music department presented “Awakenings,” conducted by David Vickerman. The conductor entered onto the stage from two double doors and took his position at the center of the stage.
The first piece, “Resonances I,” began with horns that bellowed down from the balconies surrounding the hall. The piece also uniquely made use of the band members’ voices to create different sounds among the instruments.
“I knew when I stepped into this concert hall that I wanted to do Resonance I,” Vickerman said. “The space was designed for it.”
“Emblems” was the second piece performed. The music slid from powerful sounds to playful pitter-patters that teased each other from across the stage. If one listened carefully, it was possible to hear a small quotation of “Amazing Grace.”
Vickerman called the next piece “a beautiful statement on simplicity,” with “rich harmonic texture.”
“As the scent of spring rain…” used chimes and soft sounds that created the identical feelings that an afternoon rain would. Before the ensemble broke for a short intermission, they closed the first half of the performance with “Moving Parts,” written by David Aulenbach.
“I fell in love with his work, and wanted to feature work by a N.J. Composer,” Vickerman said.
The ensemble used unusual instruments to create the sounds for “Moving Parts.” The members, especially in the percussion area, moved from instrument to instrument. After the intermission, the ensemble played “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story.
The audience grinned when they heard the familiar sounds of snaps before a rumble in the alley.
There were also bits of the song “Somewhere,” which gave the audience images of Tony and Maria singing at their balconies.
“These pieces show what the ensemble is capable of,” Vickerman said.
The final piece of the evening was “Aurora Awakes.” Vickerman said the piece was “refreshing.” First, the instruments played softly until the sounds grew to a point that vibrated the pen in my hand.
After the performance, students from the College and family members of the ensemble gathered in the front of the concert hall.
“The performance was really great. It’s really nice because we are all in the same major,” said Chelsea Hogendorn, sophomore music and education double major.
IJ Tumaluan, senior biology major, was at the performance to see his friend.
“I am really proud,” Tumaluan said following the performance “It’s hard to describe the feeling.”