Academy Concert Band Members Showcase Their Connection With Holst and Stravinsky

Last Friday, the music department presented the Academy Concert Band to Andover’s community at the Cochran Chapel. Performing six pieces in total, the performers showcased their effort and collaboration throughout the past few months to wrap up the Fall Term. 

Marcello Cirelli, Instructor in Music, and Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music, who both conducted the Tuesday Band and Thursday Band respectively, believe the performers have grown significantly as musicians and that the performance reflected the energy and hard work the performers demonstrated in rehearsals. 

As people get more used to what their function is [in the band], they get more comfortable with it and things fall into place better. The entrances are more accurate, the intonation better, the overall balance works better, nobody gets lost. The repetition through rehearsal makes it right. The music is challenging but the personnel is intelligent so it usually falls into place really well,” said Monaco.

Performer and clarinetist Brandon Fu ’25 explains that being part of a band is an enlightening experience, and he looks forward to playing even more pieces next term. Despite the challenges whilst learning the piece, he believes that the band was able to overcome them through their support of each other and effort.

“‘Jupiter’ by Gustav Holst was…technically challenging and we had to merge together as a band to form cohesive music. In order to overcome these challenges, we had to listen to each other as well as look up at the conductor, and that way we were able to gel as a band, and that I think made the performance good,” said Fu.

Audience members Eleanor Tong ’24 and Emily Fan ’24 both attended the concert to support their friends. Tong and Fan both noted the upbeat and joyful tempo of “Jupiter,” which was played along with Alamo March and Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” believing it reflects their positive view on the music community on campus. 

“At Andover, music is valued a lot, and a lot of students are really passionate about it, which is awesome to see. There are a lot of performances, and I just love attending and seeing them perform and being part of it,” said Fan.

According to performer and flutist Ally Kim ’24, the best part of performing in a band is getting to learn music and building collaboration skills by helping and learning from one another.

“Because this is our last performance, it was more meaningful because this was the first time we played all the pieces that we’ve been practicing, and it made me really proud to think that all of our hard work paid off and that we could play all of those challenging pieces together in the end, and I think we sounded amazing together,” said Kim.