As the band prepares for the recording project coming up next weekend, the concert Sunday was quite an interesting experience. We played four songs that will be on the CD- Zion, Lux Aurumque, Brooklyn Bridge (featuring Randy Salman on clarinet) and Blue Shades.
Zion was a little off. It sounded ok, I think, but the music was not fitting together as well as it has in rehearsals. The piece is hard, but we have never played it like we did yesterday. Everyone was following Dr. Pare' but each section was following him in different ways. It really threw me off. Needless to say, we got through it and moved on to Lux Aurumque, possibly the most beautiful piece ever written. It was originally written by Eric Whitacre- originally for choir, but he rewrote it for winds. The whole piece is based on suspensions and although it's rather simple technically, it's very difficult musically. You have to play so softly, with a rounded sound and getting the response that you need from your instrument at that volume is hard.
The horn ensemble played a piece next- it was pretty cool, it started all chorale like and moved into this jazzy, snap your fingers, tap your foot, or just get up and dance section that continued to the end. After that, Prof. Salman came on and we played Brooklyn Bridge. It's a very long piece. Some parts of it are really cool, I especially like the second and fourth movements (South and North). Prof. Salman does a really good job with the piece though. As Dr. Pare' said, Prof. Salman feels the pull in both classical and jazz styles and that makes it really easy and fun to work with him.
The sax quartet played next with Prof. Salman filling in for Gabe on tenor. Then we finished the concert with Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli. That's another of everyone's favorite- it's very jazzy. I like that it mixes so many different sections- you can play really loudly and fast, but then there's slower sections and it's challenging in that sense.
Next weekend is going to be very long, but I think we're up for it.