The last time I attended the orchestra symphony concert, I was simply expecting to be just impressed. However, things turned out differently when I found myself enjoying every bit of the performance and realized the great opportunity I had as both fun and a good platform for the learning experience. The program was directed by William H. Petersen who was the director of bands. A marvelous program featured diverse songs and a range of instruments that made the performance decent and promising. The stage was quite well arranged in the auditorium to project the fullest of sound and an exclusive pronounce of the choral. Well, the whole set from the instruments to the stage and the representation of what was lying ahead as indicated in the program marked the beginning of my greatest experience of the orchestra performance as the concert began. Up to now, it remains vivid in my memory.
The tunes began with the performance of the 2012 ecstatic fanfare from Steven Bryant. Born in 1972, it is expected that the experience accumulated is enough to produce an entertaining piece to keep the audience engaged. In addition, the dynamics of the orchestra were excellent during that piece. The instruments were rhythmically played to provide a matching dynamic level that everyone in the room could hear. Being the first piece, it set the mood for the entire performance with everyone adjusting their positions to ensure nothing blocked their attention from the next piece.
What followed next was even more captivating, the “second suite in F for the military band” (Holst, 1911) performance composed by Gustav Holst. Though edited by Collin Mathews, the songs had an element of history from the renowned composer who lived from 1882-1934. The sequence of the performance was “March” (Holst 1911), followed by “song without words piece”(Holst, 1911), next was “I’ll love my love piece” (Holst, 1911) followed by the “song of the blacksmith” (Holst, 1911) and finally “fantasia” (Holst, 1911) on the “Dargason” (Holst, 1911). It was not surprising to see how much the audience was engaged by this remarkable performance. About three quarters of the auditorium to be specif. fortunately, the piece was not new as it performed frequently in military ceremonies. What made it different was the technique used where the tunes were actually presented as dances combined in a harmonious way to produce a piece that was quite well balanced. The performance however sounded a little bit tense and dry probably because it was just but the beginning as compared the other pieces that followed up later.
The guest conductor Greg L Grunner took over the program. He served in the department of music as the chair as director of bands between the year 1993- 2014. With over two decade in such a high capacity in music, he demonstrated his experience by presenting the 1903 near Woodstock town piece from Perry Grainger. The famous composer lived in the year 1882-1961 although the song was transcribed by Ray Crammer. The piece was action packed remaining interesting from the selective use of the chorus and level dynamics. The inspiring tunes of the piece originated from the well-orchestrated piano and violin parts. They were harmonically supported with dissonant chords and interesting bass lines to produce an enjoyable performance.
The 2003 black dog by the Scott mc Allister followed next presented by the guest conductor Ray E. crammer. Ray is the director of band Emeritus in Indiana University conductor for 2016 All-state Red band. The orchestra did a fine job during that piece. The chorus sounded smooth and selective to make the piece emotional and brilliance.
After the intermission, the heaviest part of the program followed. The dance of the jesters from 1873 the snow maiden was performed by kip franklin, an assistant professor of music clarinet. The piece is from the famous composer pyotr Tchaikovsky who lived between 1854 and 1932. The song was transcribed by Ray E. Crammer who was also the guest conductor. The symphony is quite long but that did not stop the audience from losing interest. It is a beautiful symphony and this was clearly demonstrated by kip franklin. He was talented and showed an abundance of knowledge from the use instruments which he sued to produce the brass-like texture with a soft projection sound that stylistically rhymed with the piece.
Roy E Cramer performed the 2003 symphony no 2 by Frank Tichelli. The first movement featured the shooting stars. It shifted within various keys to give a rather lyrical theme with strong sense of tone from the piece. The movement was very joyful and interesting with a complex orchestration. It also featured the percussion instruments that enhanced the dynamics of the piece. The second movement was dreams under a New Moon that had quite tense melody. It changed its dynamic frequently from slow movement to higher tempo as it neared the ending. The third movement was Apollo unleashed. It formed the most beautiful of the entire performance. Probably due to its selection of theme and the basses that made it very lyrical.
The experience was memorable both for fun and for a learning platform. Was it not a requirement from my course that required me to come up with this report, I would probably have missed the best orchestra experience of my lifetime. Overall, the whole orchestra was unique and I would recommend to everyone not to miss such opportunities to learn and enjoy the experience.
The orchestra concert (n.d) University of south Alabama. Program pieces. Ecstatic Fanfare (2012), Military Band (1911), Near Woodstock Town (1903), Black Dog (2003) & Dances of Jesters (1873).
Holst, G.(1911). Second Military In F For The Military: March, Song without Words, I’ll Love My Love, Song of the Blacksmith and Fantasia on the Dargason.
Pitts, S. E., Dobson, M. C., Gee, K., & Spencer, C. P. (2013). Views of an audience: Understanding the orchestral concert experience from player and listener perspectives. Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 10, 65-95.