Academy Band Concert: Marches and Dulcet Tunes

In spite of the cold, weary winter weather, vivacious harmonies stirred up the Cochran Chapel last Sunday at the Academy Band Concert. The low whispers of friendly conversations echoed through the Chapel as the parents, friends and teachers filtered into the Cochran Chapel. However, the room soon became quiet as the sound of musicians tuning resonated, hinting that the concert was about to begin. The concert, presented by the Music Department, included performances by L’Insieme Di Martedi Sera, the Academy Concert Band and one woodwind octet. The concert blasted off with the harmonious first movement, Allegro Maestoso, of “Serenade No.11” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performed by 8 student members, each woodwind instrument contributed to crafting the beautiful melodies and intricate cords. Dulcet tunes of the oboe and the clarinet played by Jae Hyuk You ’10 and Steve Kim ’11 intensified the excellent performance. The woodwind ensemble was followed by two contrasting pieces. Conducted by Derek Jacoby, Instructor in Music, L’Insieme Di Martedi Sera performed (Not sure)“Horkstow Grage from Lincolnshire Posy,” by Percy Grainger, offering calm and quiet melodies. Although the percussion section was sometimes late on their rhythm, the overall tune flowed nicely. The concert dazzled the audience with its next piece, “Quad City Stomp” by Michael Sweeney. The piece started with gentle drum beats produced by Dan Krichmar ’12 that became louder and faster, building tension as the pressing clarinets and trombones played against the loud beats. The audience was surprised when the players placed their instruments on their laps, and started clapping and stamping their feet. Although Derek Jacoby said “the clapping sound could have been louder,” the piece echoed through the hall as the audience sat stunned at the magnificence of “Quad City Stomp.” Jacoby said, “I thought the concert went great. We started rehearsing since the first week of winter term, and they played the piece really well.” The excitement was sustained by the Academy Concert band directed by Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music, with its first piece “Variations on a Shaker Melody from Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland. The relatively short concert drew to a close with “Thunder and Blazes, March” by Fucik-Laurendeau. The festive piece illustrated the Concert Band’s amazing prowess to perform with deadly precision and successfully incorporate different harmonies. Closing the concert with a strong tune, the piece was a perfect ending to a perfect concert. Monaco said, “We started rehearsing since the fall term, and as much as any other classes, improvements could have been made. But overall, I think the concert went great.” Various audience members seemed to enjoy Quad City Stomp the most, and were surprised to see the players clap their hands in the middle of the piece. Billy Fowkes ’10 said, “This was one of the best concerts I have seen this term so far. I thought it was cool to see the people I know play at the concert.” He jokingly added, “It was also a fun way to complete one of my music requirements.” The performers seemed relieved that the concert turned into a fruitful success after their hard work. Minymoh Anelone ’12, a member of band, said, “We practiced a lot, and the concert turned out to be great.”