Academy Band Plays Improvisational Piece

With a flick of his baton, Derek Jacoby, Instructor in Music, led the flute section of L’Insieme di Martedi Sera into the improvisational portion of the group’s performance of “Old Churches” by Michael Colgrass.

Unlike any other band concert this term, last Sunday’s Academy Band Concert in Cochran Chapel allowed musicians to improvise and break away from the predetermined tune during parts that were already marked originally.

“Old Churches” is a composition meant to recreate the sound of monks praying and chanting in 16th century monasteries, according to the program.

Due to the complexity of the piece, Jacoby stopped L’Insieme di Martedi Sera during the first attempt at “Old Churches” and asked the ensemble to start from the top. After taking a quick moment to breeze through the music to begin again, the band delivered this mysterious and eerie melody.

“It’s okay that the conductor had to stop the performance at one point because everyone makes mistakes and I’m sure the performance was all the better because of it,” said Justin Williamson ’16, an audience member.

L’Insieme di Martedi Sera also performed “Fanfare for a New Age,” a brisk composition by Michael Story that ended with an unexpectedly sharp conclusion.

The ensemble finished their program with performances of Ottorino Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome,” a pounding march that features a continuous crescendo and Karl King’s “Aces of Air,” a festive tune that ended the group’s act on a cheerful note.

The Academy Brass Ensemble gave a spirited start to their portion of the concert with “Triptych” by Michael Stewart. The ensemble included Katherine Shih ’13, Harry Wright ’14, Charles Van Eijk ’14 and Justin Stachtiaris ’13. Robin Milinazzo, Instructor in Music, directed the group.

Providing a soothing rendition of Jean-Phillipe Rameau’s “Airs du ‘Temple de la Gloire,’” the Academy Flute Ensemble took the stage. Coached by Meghan Jacoby, Adjunct Instructor in Music, David Benedict ’15, Kayleigh Bishop ’16, Julia Kim ’14, Jerry Li ’14 and Katherine Vega ’14 made up the ensemble.

The group’s second piece, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Fugue,” had a similar feel to their first piece, and was decorated with a variety of different melodies and scales.

Closing the concert was the Academy Concert Band, directed by Vincent Monaco. The band began with Aaron Copland’s “Variations on a Shaker Melody”, a romantic and gentle tune that bridged the upbeat King composition that preceded it and the following “Overture for Band” by Felix Mendelssohn.

“Our performance surpassed the quality of all our rehearsals. I really enjoyed playing the overture by Mendelssohn because it was the most exciting to practice and play as an entire band,” said Kim, a member of the Academy Concert Band.

The concert concluded on a triumphant and powerful note with John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March,” which successfully tied the entire concert together by including fast, slow, solemn and festive aspects.