As summer quickly approaches, the Symphonic Band is preparing to enjoy the new season with their concert in Christ Chapel this Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. with the theme of “Soaking in the Sun!” The theme for the concert is based on the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 11:7, “The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun.”
The songs that the band will be playing fit right into the theme by referencing light and summer in different ways. The pieces are “Summer Dances” by Brian Balmages, “Radiant Shadows” by Julie Giroux, “Illumination” by David Maslanka and “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli.
“Each piece is a unique ingredient to the concert, and captures a variety of color, technique and styles throughout for the audience,” said Dr. Angela Holt, director of the Symphonic Band.
Junior Brandon Glasgow is a percussionist in the Symphonic Band, and he’s excited to share with the public what the band has been working on since finishing up tour earlier in the semester.
At the band’s last concert, “Let it Go” from the Disney movie Frozen was a crowd pleaser, but the set list for this concert has a completely different vibe. Glasgow described the songs for this concert as being upbeat tunes that are summer classics.
“Sadly, ‘Let it Go’ will not be played for this concert,” said Glasgow.
However, Glasgow said that his favorite song for this concert is “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli.
“It’s a jazz piece,” he said, “and I love jazz.”
The song also features multiple solos by different students in the band. Freshman clarinetist Sarah Sundet and freshman flutist Emma Anunson echoed Glasgow’s comments on “Blue Shades” by saying that they appreciate the jazz style of the song and they think the audience will be impressed by it.
Another song that seems popular with the band is “Illumination” by David Maslanka. Dr. Holt described the piece as “an invigorating piece of music with an assortment of textures.”
With its catchy new tune, the piece is a favorite of many students.
“[‘Illumination’] got stuck in my head the first day we had it,” said Sundet.
Preparing for this concert has had its challenges because the band has had to spread out in order to follow COVID-19 regulations. The band has spent some time figuring out how they should be set up on the stage in order to sound good while still staying socially distant from one another. It has been over a year since the band has been on the stage in Christ Chapel all together.
“We continually are grateful for the opportunities God has given us and allows us to ultimately do for his glory,” said Dr. Holt.
As a member of the band, Glasgow is proud of how his fellow band members have preserved and worked hard this year. “[We] pulled together as a band family to share God’s love and do his work,” said Glasgow.
This concert will also be the last concert here at Northwestern for the seniors who are graduating in May so they will be recognized during the concert. The seniors this year were freshmen when Dr. Holt was hired by Northwestern four years ago.
“It has been a gift to see them grow, and how we have supported one another over the last four years,” said Dr. Holt. “We will truly miss them a lot, but I am excited for their new adventures ahead of them.”