Get ready for a weekend full of music at Northwestern College—three of the school’s musical groups are ready to perform.
A concert by the Symphonic Band, taking place on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel.
The Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Timothy McGarvey, will be performing a wide variety of songs, including “Colorado Peaks” by Dana Wilson, “Earl of Oxford’s March” by Gordon Jacob and a piece that explores the spiritual connection between farmers and their land entitled “The Promise of Living” by Aaron Copland.
One of the more unusual and challenging pieces the band will perform is “Circus Polka” by Igor Stravisnsky. The piece that was originally written for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
“This piece calls for an organ sound, like one you would hear at a circus,” said sophomore percussionist Aaron DeBoer. “Really be listening for that sound. It’s a different color sound than what a normal symphonic band is used to and really gives the feel that we are at the circus watching elephants and high wire acts.”
The band will also be performing a series of folk songs by Percy Grainger entitled “Lincolnshire Posy,” which has six movements that are based on folk tunes Grainger gathered as he traveled through the Lincolnshire area. Each movement holds a different story and style, unique to the original singer.
With perhaps more recognizable tunes, Leonard Bernstein’s “Four Dances from West Side Story” is also included in the Symphonic Band’s selections.
The next night,
the Jazz Band and Heritage Singers will perform.
The Jazz Band, also directed by McGarvey, will include pieces containing a variety of jazz styles such as calypso, blues and swing.
Over half of the band will play solos during the concert, including _______.
The songs on the program include Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo á la Turk,” “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” from the operetta The New Moon by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstien II and “Tuxedo Junction” by Erskine Hawkins, Bill Johnson and Julian Dash.
“Sanctified Blues” by Alva Nelson is sophomore SarahStofer’s favorite song. Sarah plays the bass and says she likes the song because she gets to play as loudly as possible.
“In this song, the audience should try to listen for all of the parts,” she said. “The main tune is catchy and easy to hear, but it sounds better if you listen to all the parts at the same time.”
They will also perform the song “Cuban Overture” by George Gershwin, which was written after a trip he took to Havana and incorporates what the types of music he heard on the Cuban streets.
Also in concert on Saturday are the Heritage Singers, directed by Dr. Thomas Holm and accompanied by Yukiko Higishino and Dr. Juyeon Kang. The 28 members were chosen by audition from the A cappella Choir and practice every Friday for about two hours.
The ensemble will perform “Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy Songs), op. 103” by Johannes Brahms. This piece is made up of 11 untitled songs, which have a Gypsy and Hungarian feel to them and are all about love, rejection, passion, joy and broken hearts. The Heritage Singers will also perform two sets of “Animal Crackers” by Eric Whitacre.
If the audience listens to the words, they will find that the songs are all about certain animals and insects and are absolutely hilarious. The first set of “Animal Crackers” includes “The Panther,” “The Cow” and “The Firefly.” The second set has “The Canary,” “The Eel” and “The Kangaroo.”
“The six Eric Whitacre pieces are about 30 seconds long each and are based on the poems written by American humorous composer, Ogden Nash,” Holm said. “The first song, called ‘The Panther,’ goes something like this, ‘the panther is like a leopard, except it hasn’t been peppered. If you behold a panther crouched, be prepared to say ouch. Better yet, if called by a panther, don’t anther.’ We have to do all we can to not start laughing up on stage while we’re singing it.”
The Jazz Band and Heritage Singers will perform on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. Admission is free for all three concerts.