Concert Critique

By
I attended the Schaumburg High School Band-Aid Concert on March 21st, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. in the Carl D. Weimer Auditorium. The concert consisted of two bands: the Concert Band and the Symphonic Band. The Concert Band’s instrumentation included eleven flutes, two oboes, one bassoon, eleven clarinets, two Bass clarinets, three Alto saxophones, two Tenor saxophones, one Baritone saxophone, ten trumpets, one French horn, four trombones, two baritones, one tuba, and five percussion. Concert Band played a total of four musical compositions including: Czech Masters Suite arranged by Philip Gordon (I. Overture from “Czech Wedding” by Karel Bendl II. 3rd Movement from Symphony No. 8 by Antonin Dvorak III. Furiant by Bedrich Smetana), “Sanctus” from the German Mass in F by Franz Schubert and arranged by Cumow, Lassus Trombone by Henry Fillmore, and Dark Fortress Overture by Rob Grice. The Symphonic Band’s instrumentation included ten flutes, two oboes, one bassoon, ten clarinets, two Bass clarinets, four Alto saxophones, two Tenor saxophones, two Baritone saxophones, seven trumpets, three French horns, five trombones, three baritones, two tubas, and five percussion. Symphonic Band played a total of three pieces including: Fairest of the Fair by John Philip Sousa and arranged by Fennell, Moorside March by Gustav Holst, and Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik.

The second piece played that night and the first piece I critiqued was “Sanctus” from the German Mass in F by Franz Schubert and arranged by Cumow. The piece started off with almost the entire band flowing together and crescendoing in unison. The tempo was somewhere near andante. Soon the bells and tymphony joined in unison with the band and the clarinets and saxophones took over the melody. The low brass played low rich notes in background to the melody. The composition then took a turn with the clarinets and flutes playing a higher part that consisted mainly of long, whole notes. There was a large, crescendoing, tymphony role and then the band played fortissimo together once again. At this point in the song the band almost sounded as if they were making waves of sound. Then the composition took another turn with almost the whole band playing faster, staccato notes. Soon the bells and tymphony joined in and the whole band was playing together. The song ended in silence.

The third musical composition played that night and the second piece I critiqued was Lassus Trombone by Henry Fillmore. The piece started off right away with the trombones playing a loud soli together that had a big band sound. As the trombones played alone, snare drums made a pattering sound in the background. While the trombones played their part, the rest of the band was in silence, then echoed the trombones, and then faded away. This whole section of the song had a racy and up-tempo feeling about it. After a trombone soli there were lots of cymbal crashes and then the flutes and clarinets took over the melody. The melody then had a fair/carnival air to it. There was a scaling up by the flutes and a new melody took over with the bells playing along side a high trumpet, clarinet, and flute part. The trombones played low notes in the background and we were taken back to the old melody. The piece then ended abruptly on short, staccato notes.

The fifth piece to be played that night and the third piece I critiqued was Fairest of the Fair by John Philip Sousa and arranged by Fennell. The band started off playing together with a racy, up-tempo, melody that sounded like a march. The low brass played high notes in the background, while the flutes, clarinets, and trumpets played the melody. The flutes mostly had the melody with a scaling upward part. The song then took a turn to a more andante pace. The trumpets played staccato notes while the low brass, saxophones, and flutes took over a more flowing melody. With use of the entire band, the song grew gradually louder. The trombones then took over the melody with the snare drums and cymbals lightly playing in the background. The band went slowly back into the old melody and the song ended on short, staccato, notes.

The sixth piece to be played that night and the fourth and final piece I critiqued was Moorside March by Gustav Holst. The musical composition began with a high trumpet note and then the whole band joined in. The trumpet took over the melody with the snare drum and then took turns switching off with the entire band. There was then a clarinet soli, followed by a saxophone soli, and then a final flute soli. Behind all of these solis the tubas were playing in the background. Soon the saxophones took over the melody with the tubas continuing to play in the background. Gradually more instrumentation joined in and crescendoed louder together. The band then flowed together and grew louder while there were cymbal crashes in the background for effect. The trumpets then scaled upward, while the clarinets took over the melody. Next the flutes followed the clarinets and took over the melody while the trombone played a loud part that was brought out. The song then sounded as if it were pure chaos and the snare drums and trumpets then echoed each other. The trombones played together with the snares. Next there was a French horn solo, followed by a trombone solo that ended with saxophones playing long notes in the background. The trombones scaled upward and then there was silence. Then there was a loud band from the tymphony. The piece then ended with slow meaningful notes that ended with a tymphony roll and warm long notes.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good concert. The bands played the pieces that were selected for them very well. “Sanctus” from the German Mass in F by Franz Schubert and arranged by Cumow was okay to listen to. Nothing really popped out at me in that piece though. It kind of sounded like just an ordinary band piece. I actually really liked Lassus Trombone by Henry Fillmore. The up-tempo, big band sound was really fun to listen to. I also really liked Fairest of the Fair by John Philip Sousa and arranged by Fennell because it sounded like you were at a loud carnival or fair. Moorside March by Gustav Holst was nothing special though. It was a pretty piece but nothing really out of the ordinary, just like “Sanctus” from the German Mass in F by Franz Schubert. The music selected for the night was overall very nice to listen to and I would go back any time to listen to Schaumburg High School’s bands play.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback