Fanfares and Marches: Academy Band Concert

Phillips Academy’s Music Department presented a Band Concert on Sunday afternoon. The concert featured two bands: L’Insieme Di Martedi Sera and The Academy Concert Band. The concert started with L’Insieme Di Martedi Sera, conducted by Instructor in Music Derek Jacoby. They introduced the concert with “My Bonny Lass” by Thomas Morley. The short notes and quirky melody matched well with the bright spring day. The second piece, “Adagio Cantabile” from “Sonata Pathétique” by Ludwig van Beethoven, had a more solemn tone but was executed flawlessly. The flutists performed well on a broad range of dynamics, playing the notes softly and loudly to match the overall quality of the tune. During the piece the trombone and the clarinets played the melody beautifully. At the end, the whole band ended with a precise harmonious end that gave the piece a clean ending. Jumping right on to the third piece, “Burma Patrol March” by Karl L. King, the floor of the Cochran Chapel shook as the band played a lively march. Conjuring up the image of a carnival the lively and festive music gave a bright mood to the Chapel. Despite the small size of the L’Insieme Di Martedi, consisting of about twenty performers, the band paid special attention to the volume. The sound from the small band resonated throughout the whole chapel and the audience was able to hear it. After the L’Insieme Di Martedi, the Academy Concert Band entered, bigger and badder with 60 people. The Academy Concert Band played a complicated piece, “Funeral March of a Marionette,” by Charles Gounod. An image of funeral loomed over the band as they performed dissonant chords and devilish intervals. Despite the challenge presented by the piece, the performers played with technical prowess. No apparent mistakes could be heard and the tempo of the music was easy to follow. The different sections of each band seemed to communicate with each other. During one portion of the music, the clarinets and the flutes shared a beautiful melody, as the trumpets played a solemn accompaniment in the background. When the music was minor the band conveyed an eerie and creepy feeling, but during the major part of the music the band immediately lightened up the mood. During the brighter part of the music the band successfully created a happy tone, but managed to keep the idea of a “funeral” in their music. The director of the Academy Concert Band, Vincent Monaco, briefly paused after the Funeral March of a Marionette to announce the winners of two prizes. The first prize was the Band Prize, given to members of the band who have been good role models. This prize was given to band members who always came on time to band practices, contributed to the band and demonstrated excellent skill. The two recipients of this year were Jessica Siemer ’10 and Kelvin Jackson ’10. The second prize announced was the Basset Wads Huff Prize. The recipient was Jack You ’10, who was awarded for contributing to the band, and for his amazing clarinet skills. After handing out the prizes, Monaco and the Academy Concert Band resumed playing their last piece, “The Bill Board March” by John N. Klohr. The band performed with soul, and the results were excellent. The audience bobbed their heads to the rhythm of the music, and even some of the players did the same. The concert was short, but it was enjoyable. Some of the audience members wished that the concert went on for just a little longer.