By Will Dancer
The Roosevelt Music Conservatory put on a CCPA Wind Ensemble performance in Ganz Hall on Feb. 20, where three classical music movements were performed with varying wind and percussion instruments, performers, and music styles. Conducted by Stephen Squires, a total of twenty-five students took the stage to perform works by Mozart, Michael Tilson Thomas and Anthony DiLorenzo.
As the audience sat in Ganz Hall, the performers played their set with an overall sense of calmness and determination, silently adjusting their sheet music and blowing into their reeds after every piece, since clapping was to be held until the entire movement had concluded. They projected a strong sense of pride and ownership over their craft.
The audience themselves projected an aura of serene enjoyment and consideration. Some audience members sat with their eyes closed and their hands on their chin, listening intently, while others appeared awestruck with wide eyes and mouths agape. The audience’s engaged body language appeared to give the performers inspiration and the winded and sweaty reddened faces of the performer’s exertion reflected the sense of impassioned give and take between the music and the listeners.
During the more intense and melancholy pieces, the audience’s mood seemed to reflect the music. The resonance from the performance hall carried every note from the front to the back rows. The long droning of tubas and the shrill trumpets produced a feeling of rise and fall, with the piece moving through peaks and valleys of volume and vigor.
During the Thomas movement, many audience members appeared to be emotionally affected by the frequent and abrupt starts and stops. The volume and mood change since intermission created a vastly different tonal-shift from the up-beat flurries of the Mozart piece.
The final piece showcased a little more attention and eagerness by the players, with loud cymbal crashes highlighting the driving beat provided by the snare, bass and timpani drums. The very spy-crime inspired piece was much faster-paced than the two that preceded it and the performers looked as if they were straining to keep up with the intensity. The pace and energy of the piece contrasting the ones that came before it, evoked a sudden rush that felt like a breaking-away of the more straitlaced structure that these types of ensembles usually adhere to. The DiLorenzo movement seemed to allow for more freedom for both the audience and the performers because the darker and more brooding atmosphere resonated with the established intimate overtones of the breathy instruments and dimly-lit Ganz Hall.
Stuart Folse, core music studies and composition professor at Roosevelt, attended the event along with conductor Stephen Squires. Folse said that he tries to teach professionalism and that students should strive to be as professional as they possible could be. “There’s a seriousness that is misconstrued… it’s focus. Getting the piece done and doing the piece justice and having a sense of passion and respect for the audience as much as it is the music,” Folse said.
7 torches out of 10