Horizon Honors’ Secondary Bands Toot Their Own Horns

Wind Ensemble, Concert, and Symphonic bands play the night away at their first concert of the year.

Wind+Ensemble+prepares+to+play+before+their+individual+part+of+the+concert.

Wind Ensemble prepares to play before their individual part of the concert.

Pradyoth Velagapudi, Columnist

On Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and Symphonic Band had their semester concerts. For the first time, the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band had combined performance pieces, though they each had their own individual pieces as well.

First, the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band tuned and warmed up onstage together. Next, Wind Ensemble performance, followed by the combined pieces and the Concert Band performance, and finally the Symphonic Band concert.

First, the Wind Ensemble played “Crown of Glory,” a British coronation march; “El Pato Loco,” a Latin American tune; and “Resolution,” a strong piece played in cut time.

After that, the combined Wind Ensemble and Concert Band played “The Thunderer,” a strong American march, “Hill and Gully Rider,” a Jamaican folk song, “Las Mañanitas,” another Latin American tune, “Rondeau,” a French composition (and the theme song for PBS “Masterpiece Theater”), and “Rock.com,” a rock beat with a slight jazz swing.

Soon after, Concert Band played “Cango Caves,” a nice blend between warm and soft sounds, “Ancient Voices,” a piece with dark and light sections and an interesting percussion part (including wind chimes and hitting the music stands), and “Dr. Rockenstein,” a rock adaptation of the classic “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

Next, it was the Symphonic Band’s turn. As they came onstage, it was immediately clear that they were a much older and more experienced group; it showed in the way they tuned individually, the way they set up offstage, and even the way they dressed, wearing suit coats over their white shirts. They played much longer pieces than the other bands did, and with a much fuller and richer sound.

First, they performed “Encanto,” which starts deep with an eventual cut in of lighter sounds, and has a smooth transition from fast to slow. Next was “Ave Maria,” a slow, rich, inspiring piece, followed by “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” which was one of my favorite pieces of the night. It rarely swayed from its catchy theme, which remained prevalent throughout the song. After that was “Rhythm Machine,” which was quick and light with a strong underlying low tune, and finally, “Three-Minute Nutcracker,” which is another of my favorite pieces from the concert. It is a patchwork of the most familiar themes from “The Nutcracker Suite.”

All in all, it was an amazing experience. “The bands certainly rose to the occasion with this concert,” said Jeff Kelly, guitar and band teacher. “It was definitely much better than the rehearsal!”

“What I like about this concert, in particular, is that there were a lot of solo opportunities,” said Eric Best, the band director and conductor of the concert. “In general, all of the bands did really well. You can really see how they’ve improved and where they’ll go.”

“One thing’s for certain,” said Kelly, “If you weren’t there, you’ve missed a fun concert!”