The trumpets will sound, the clouds will roll back and the gates of heaven will open. That’s the imagery of the opening song for Northwestern’s Symphonic Band concert, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, in Christ Chapel.
The concert will be the final in the Symphonic Band’s trilogy. The first, performed fall of 2019, focused on God’s creation and the second, performed as a Valentine’s Day concert this year, focused on Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
The concert will open with “Alleluia! Laudamus Te,” a favorite of senior Joel Van Peursem.
“The reason I love this piece so much is because of the brass parts and how joyous they are,” he said. “You can really hear the power of the piece when the organ joins in.”
The second piece, “One Life Beautiful,” is slower and lyrical. It reflects on and honors those who have passed on. It is a favorite of several band members. Senior Cassandra Koel enjoys the harmonization in the song, but also the message.
“It makes me think about Jesus. His one life was truly beautiful,” Koel said. “His death on the cross to redeem us is the most beautiful act of sacrifice the world has ever known. Not to mention His deep love that surpasses all understanding.
“It made me think about the wonder and sanctity of life, and how precious it is. Life in and of itself is beautiful. And to think that God created each of us uniquely with our own personalities, strengths and talents is incredible.”
She added that the recent loss of a community member enhances the impact of the message and makes the song that much more beautiful for her.
“The concert is a time of praising God and of reflection upon our chaotic and sinful world,” said Dr. Angela Holt, director of instrumental studies and music education. “Our desire is to engage the audience in a way that helps them see our constant hope in Christ no matter what’s going on.”
The music is meant to provoke emotion and thought into what the coming of the Lord will look like. Senior Colin Jorde hopes that the audience experiences the glory as well as the gravity of the Lord’s return through their performance.
“For me, the coming of the Lord shows the capstone of God’s orchestrated plan to redeem and reconcile the world for God’s own glory and believers’ good,” Jorde said. “My hope is for the audience to walk away from the performance with their own sense of inspiration.”
Preparation for the concert has been different with the pandemic.
The band has gotten used to the spaced-out chairs and the mask requirements, but the constant quarantining of different members has forced the band to also adapt to playing without different people on any given week.
Van Peursem said that the pieces are especially difficult, but he is still thrilled to perform.
“We have prepared well though and can’t wait to worship God through our music and show others some joy, connect to people that need hope in their lives,” he said.
“We have the hope as Christians that Christ will be victorious and will conquer all of the brokenness and hurt,” said junior Abigail Van Peursem. “After listening to the concert, I hope the audience will be able to see the love and power of God through music and will be filled with comfort and hope.”
The concert is free and open to the public. In order to prioritize the safety of the musicians and the audience members, masks will be required for the event. Physical distancing will be encouraged as families will be seated together in groups no larger than three persons.