By Ryan Channer ’19, Cody Liang ’19, Brian Seetoe ’19, and John Rolon ’19
In the interest of full disclosure, Ryan Channer is a member of the band.
The sounds of wind instruments filled the audi- torium at 6 p.m. on January 10 as the bands tuned their instruments. Conducted by Mr. Daniel Jordan and Ms. Laurel Stinson, the bands were thrilled to play in front of the many eager spectators who came to watch Midwood’s winter concert.
“I felt excited playing in the concert,” said Bellody Chan’19. “After all our hard work and mistakes during rehearsal, this was our last chance. I was excited to see what the final product would be.”
To begin the concert, the Symphonic Band played three pieces in total, starting off with “Extremis” by Randall Standridge.
“They are so much better. They can play other pieces, they can play with each other, and they’re excited to play,” said Mr. Jordan.
The next piece played was “Rather Be.” In this piece, the flute stands out the most for its beautiful sound, as does the beat provided by the percussion. The overall tempo is catchy and head-bobbing.
“The challenges were getting the music down and picking the right music to play after the break, which took a toll on our playing abilities,” said Ari Gonzalez ’18.
The final piece from the symphonic band was “Moscow 1941,” which depicts the first major loss for Germany’s Third Reich during World War II, when they started to retreat. This piece was a thriller, in the sense that the instruments were playing in different pitches and the sound was almost war-like. The tempo was smooth, and this was a great way to start off the show.
“‘Moscow 1941’ was definitely my favorite piece performed by symphonic band,” said Zoe Alatsas ’21. “Everyone enjoys playing it, and you can tell when we play that we enjoyed what we were playing.”
Bellody Chan ’19 said, “The challenges would be trying to be enthusiastic about the songs we got down and rehearsed a lot because when we don’t play it enthusiastically, it loses its flavor. It’d be like reading a story out loud in a monotone voice.”
The second performance of the night came from the Jazz Band, which played only one piece by the name of “Moanin’”, by Bobby Timmons. Jazz Band featured saxophone, clarinet, trombone, guitar, drum and piano players, some of whom were also in the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. The three solos featured in this piece were performed by Brian Tkachuk ’18, David Wilder ’18, and Ryan Channer ’19.
The overall arrangement was absolutely melodious because the tempo and mood of the piece. All solos were good in their own aspect, and all featured their own unique style of performance ranging from smooth and spaced, to comfortable and melodic, to spunky and charismatic.
The final performance of the night was the Wind Ensemble, which played five pieces in total. Ms. Laurel Stinson conducted the final performance of the night.
The first piece they played was the “One Hundredth Chorale” by Bourgeois. This piece was a short but beautiful piece with melodic passages.
“My favorite part was probably playing ‘March to the Scaffold’ during Wind Ensemble’s performance because it’s been something I’ve working on since October, and I finally got to bring a good finished product,” said Zan Babar ’20.
The second piece was “March to the Scaffold” by Hector Berlioz. This piece featured a clarinet solo by Admir Cekir.
The third piece was actually an unknown piece that Wind Ensemble never played before called “Knights of the Round Table.” Everyone, including Ms. Stinson, had to sight read the piece for only 30 seconds. This was shocking because they managed to play it, and they maintained solid timing, dynamics, and articulation.
The fourth piece was called “On the Mall” by Edwin Franko Goldman. During the song, Ms. Stinson and students in the ensemble played the melody on kazoos instead of their instrument.
The final piece played by the Wind Ensemble was themes from “Green Bushes” by Percy Aldridge Grainger. This was labeled as a passacaglia, a repetitive piece.
This was a great closing to the concert, which presented talented instrumentalists and played nice pieces for all of Midwood to see.