May 27, 2020

Wind ensemble performs moving musical arrangements

By Raquel Sosa-Sanchez
Staff Writer

The TCNJ Wind Ensemble’s airy woodwinds and deep brass painted a picturesque image in the minds of its audience members.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the TCNJ Wind Ensemble performed on the Kendall Hall Main Stage at 8 p.m. They were welcomed by a nearly full audience and a hearty applause. The set, titled “Reimagine,” succeeded its namesake. Audiences were taken on a musical journey through time as they listened to pieces from different ages and cultures.

The ensemble presents different cultural compositions. (Randell Carrido / Staff Photographer)

The ensemble’s first set “Le Bal de Béatrice d’Este,” a ballet written by Reynaldo Hahn in 1905, consisted of seven separate pieces. “Entrée pour Ludovico Le More” came first, enveloping the crowd in a French anthemic sound and a lofty oboe.

Dramatic pauses filled with heavy silences enraptured the audience. The ensemble performed under the instruction of conductor Joshua Roach.

“(The conductor’s) really focused and dramatic,” said Diana Solano, a freshman open option arts and communication major. 

The ballet featured many lighthearted and romantic pieces. Percussion and brass took the spotlight during the fourth performance, which was a rendition of Hahn’s “Ibérienne.” Bellows from the low brass and woodwinds reverberated throughout the floors of the theater hall.

“Second Suite in F,” a popular tune among ensembles and concert bands, came next. Composed by Gustav Holst, the piece featured an arc of intensity by the high brass section. The ensemble’s performance of the movement “Song Without Words,” composed by Felix Mendelssohn, showcased an intense performance by woodwinds and low brass alike. The lowest of low notes from the brass, and the highest of highs from the woodwinds left the audience in awe of their juxtaposed synchrony.

Composer Chen Yi’s “Dragon Rhyme,” a piece favored by Roach, came in two movements. The ballad was thematic, like most of the ensemble’s performances.

“The first movement is lyrical,” Roach said, “the second, powerful.”

The piece was influenced by Eastern culture, according to Roach. The music painted the picture of a dragon, making the piece “layered, auspicious and vivid.”

The ensemble’s performance showcased 20th century pieces from different cultures and backgrounds, and the audience was captivated in the storytelling within the music. At the conclusion of the show, Roach praised the musical abilities of the students of the College’s Wind Ensemble.

“They are fantastic instrumentalists,” Roach said.

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