Along with the usual Academy Concert Band student musician talent, last Sunday’s Band Concert in Cochran Chapel also featured the guest music ensemble Quintessential Brass, which entertained the audience with its unconventional approach to contemporary pieces of music.
Quintessential Brass is comprised of members Mike Peipman and Leenie Doran on the trumpets, David Lindsey on the trombone, Leslie Havens on the bass trombone and tuba and Robin Milinazzo, a French Horn Instructor at Andover, on the horn.
The ensemble accompanied the Academy Band and performed a series of well-known contemporary pieces, including the “Spiderman” and “Pink Panther” theme song, along with Quintessential Brass’ own compositions, such as “Mancini Medley.”
“Overall, my favorite was the medley of tunes … they played; it is impressive that they can meld so many different styles cohesively,” said Autumn Plumbo ’14, a flutist for the Thursday Band, which is a subset of the Academy Band.
“Quintessential Brass blew me away. Their ability to create such a beautiful sound with simply five brass instruments was incredible. Being able to listen to and perform with [Milinazzo and her Quintet] was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Justin Stachtiaris ’13.
The concert opened with Andover’s Brass Ensemble, which performed the piece “Three Dances” by Tielman Susato. After that, the Quintessential Brass joined them to perform a collaborated piece of the popular “Hawaii Five-O” tune, composed by Morton Stevens.
“The ‘Hawaii Five-O’ tune had a nice groove and distinct level of swag, which is why I particularly enjoyed it,” said Charles Van Eijk ’14, a member of the Andover Brass Ensemble.
Following the opening pieces by both brass ensembles, the event quickly proceeded as the baton was passed on to L’Insieme Di Martedi Sera, or the Tuesday Band, and then to the Thursday Band, both subsets of the Academy Band and led by director and conductor Derek Jacoby, Instructor in Music.
Quintessential Brass once more joined the Andover bands for “Fanfare for a Festive Day” by Roger Cichy.
“I like the fanfare, it has a nice momentum to it and it is catchy,” said Katherine Shih ’13, a member of the Brass Ensemble and the Thursday Band.
After performing the Fanfare’s upbeat tunes, the Band performed more dynamic pieces including Vincent Persichetti’s “Pageant Op. 59” and “King Cotton March” by John Philip Sousa.
After the show, Jacoby, conductor of the Andover bands featured in Sunday’s concert, was praised after for the successful concert.
Efua Peterson ’14 said, “Mr. Jacoby did a great job of keeping the ensemble at a steady tempo and made sure that every instrument was sounding just right, even the snare drum for example.”
The overall concert was a musically diverse event and showcased a range of brass instrument families along with other various band instruments.
The audience that packed the Chapel gave a long ovation to the performers. Both the performers and Jacoby were also satisfied with their concert.
“This concert really showcased the effort we put into music, and I think we pulled it off quite successfully,” said Jerry Li ’14, a flutist for the Tuesday and Thursday Bands.
Mikaela Rabb ’14, an audience member, said, “This was my first Band Concert at Andover. … It was great to see everyone so dedicated,” said Mikaela Rabb ’14, “Now, I definitely want to become more involved with the music program because I was very impressed.”
“It was a pleasing culmination of musical talent … and the concert was very successful,” said Jacoby.