By Richard Miller
Music is one of the most powerful mediums people can use to send their messages to the public, and the College’s Wind Ensemble endeavored to accomplish just that. On Friday, March 8, the ensemble, led by Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Eric Laparde, performed the “Springs Eternal” concert.
This concert, which addressed various current environmental issues occurring on our planet, was held in conjunction with the TCNJ Art Gallery exhibit, which is also called “Springs Eternal.” These are just two examples of many other environmentally-friendly events sponsored by various departments in the School of Arts and Communication.
These environmentally friendly efforts and initiatives were proposed by the institute of social justice in the School of Arts and Communication and Humanities and Social Sciences, which is spearheaded by Associate Professor of Music Colleen Sears, to showcase the importance of a healthy environment and clean water.
According to Sears, this was the first event of its kind to take place at the College.
The evening began with a pre-concert lecture featuring Laparde, Sears, Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, the project’s curator, and director of the TCNJ Art Gallery and Kathleen Webber, associate professor of journalism and professional writing, who discussed the impact of the fashion industry on water supplies around the world.
The concert opened with a performance from the College’s Concert Band and then the focus shifted to the Wind Ensemble, which played pieces that ranged from 1715 to 2019 with themes centered around water.
Perhaps the most innovative piece was “Early In the Morning” by Eve Beglarian, students were arranged in a circular formation, reminiscent of a campsite, and the piece opened with an audio of an “early morning” in the Iowa wilderness. The audio consisted of sounds from different frogs and insects and served as a backdrop for the entire piece. These nature sounds formed a beat for the students to perform around non-traditional instruments, which included a large, orange bucket and stainless steel bowls.
The night began to wind down with a performance of “High Water Rising” by Sally Lamb McCune, a piece that in its own way reminded audience members of the dangers surrounding climate change and rising water levels around the entire world.
“‘High Water Rising’ was my favorite piece,” said Christina Siciliano, a freshmen open options science major. “I liked how it slowly got more and more intense and faster to really illustrate the problem at hand.”
The ending piece was “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka. The piece provided a sense of alertness and awareness in an effort to build a better future in the face of danger, which was a common theme throughout the concert.
Students were elated by the concert’s distinct themes and powerful performances.
“Seeing how they were able to make music with just natural sounds and then a bucket, it certainly was different than your average wind ensemble and I loved it,” said Haleigh Moriarty, a freshman math and secondary education dual major.