By Joseph Jaquinto
Music rung through the Kendall Hall air this weekend at the wind ensemble & percussion ensemble concert on Friday, April 12 at 8:00 p.m. The concert was named “Portrait” in honor of “music’s ability to portray life,” said Eric Lapadre, an assistant professor of music and the College’s Director of Bands.
The concert attracted students, parents and staff to Kendall Hall to witness the 7 performances: 3 by the percussion ensemble and the last 4 by the wind ensemble.
The concert was conducted by Laprade and Benjamin Reim, a senior music education major. Benjamin not only conducted the first two performances, but also composed one song, “String Quartet No. 1.”
“I liked conducting the string quartet I created after my 4 years [at the college],” said Reim, “This is my last ensemble here.”
Mark Stransky ’76 was a guest composer of the wind ensemble piece “Fantasy of Time.” Stransky has played trumpet his entire life and was “looking forward to how this wind ensemble performs.”
During his pre–concert speech, Laprade detailed the background of the four wind ensemble performances. These are detailed in the pamphlet handed out on that night, however Laprade does a particularly good job summarizing the finer details of Of “Our New Day Begun” and “Lincolnshire Posy.”
He described Of “Our New Day Begun” as a homage to the nine people who were struck down at the Emanuel African Methodist Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The song is performed with an intentional tonal juxtaposition which depicts the two sides of the racial divide which currently affects our country. The song maintains a humanistic atmosphere while alternating between dreadful and dramatic tones, and deliberately concludes unresolved.
Laprade then starts of his description of Lincolnshire Posy by playing the original folk song, recorded on a wire cylinder recorder, however this tune doesn’t follow the typical beats of a folk song as its artist, Percy Aldridge Grainger, compiles the stories and thus tones of fellow folk artists of the era. “These folk singers were the kings and queens of song! No concert singer I have ever heard approached these rural warblers in a variety of tone-quality, range of dynamics, rhythmic resourcefulness, and individuality of style,” the pamphlet described.
The pamphlets description was apt, since the live performance was as diverse and powerful as the piece commanded, with each instrument adding to the intensity of the song.
After the show there was a resounding applause, as well as a standing send off to all the seniors who won’t be performing at further ensembles for the College. Afterwards, several members of the audience spoke of their gratitude, including a father of one of the performers, Matthew O’Malley.
“I really enjoy getting to see my son perform and experience brand new and different performances,” O’Malley said.
While everyone enjoyed the show at a basic level, many others also took into consideration the effort of students and staff involved.
“I respect the amount of time inside and outside put into preparing,” Gabriel Curcil, a visiting audience member, said, “It really shows.”