Wind Ensemble blows audience away

John Catton, Campus Carrier Staff Writer

The Berry College Wind Ensemble concluded their fall concert season on Sunday afternoon, with a concert entitled “Cathedrals.” The title soon became evident in the first piece, a throwback to the 1500s: with Jacobus Gallus’ piece entitled “Alleluia.” It harkened back to a time of sacred music, where bands played from church balconies in the format of call-and-response. The wind ensemble accomplished this feeling by playing in the aisles, surrounding the concert-goers with sound. 

The second piece, “A Song for Lyndsay” was a love letter to Gallus’ wife, and the ensemble brilliantly captured the strong colors of his emotion through the flute and French horn which began separated as solos, and combined to create a beautiful patchwork of sound. Nathan Talbot, senior percussion major, was greatly impressed by the performance of the piece.

“When it is done right it sounds good, and we did it right,” Talbot said. “It sounded good. It was our best run of the piece.”

The ensemble came back to the sounds of sacred music with Fisher Tull’s “Sketches on a Tudor Psalm.” The piece took a humble, simple, ancient Anglican melody through an adventure through, many creative twists and turns from all parts of the ensemble. “Entry March of the Boyars” served as a traditional piece of concert band repertoire, complete with all the velocity and springiness reminiscent of a Sousa march, with the full texture of an orchestra complete with percussive accents. “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations was also played full of emotion which gave the well-known piece justice. The finale, “Vesuvius,” by Frank Ticheli was reminiscent of a liturgical Dies Irae in the medieval requiem mass by following the volcanic explosion. This was accomplished through the use of many different fiery textures from many different portions of the orchestra and proved an exciting finale to a wonderful concert.

Wind Ensemble director Lauren Denny Wright said the concert was moved to Sunday afternoon in order to allow as many parents to come as possible. The choices in pieces were amazing, and it was educational experience for all those involved. 

“We usually don’t get the opportunity to be exposed to these pieces,” Megan Michel, senior trombone player, said. “I think that it proves us background which is important for us to remember as we practice our pieces. Each note has a specific meaning and we should get to know what the composer meant by learning their context.”

The concert provided a learning experience to both the players as well as the audience. It gave the opportunity for all members to exhibit their skill as an ensemble, providing great sounds for a Sunday afternoon.

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