Band Program to Take Audience Members on a “Holiday Voyage”

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By: Ariana Colosuonno

Staff Reporter

On Dec 9, Sacred Heart’s Band Program will be having their annual Christmas concert: “Holiday Voyage.”

However, this concert isn’t like previous concerts the Band Program has had in the past.

“There isn’t a concert title, per se,” said Director of Bands Keith Johnston. “The musical common thread for most of the works revolves around joy, reflection and transcendence. Other pieces reflect the great American band tradition, the great music of the area, and music that blends traditions.”

The band will be performing different songs to represent and carry out each of the themes.

“All of our songs intertwine in some way,” said senior Michael Fritz. “Albeit, with the same theme or similar sound, especially the final two pieces. The audience is more or less going to hear four pieces that carry an overall theme, rather than four separate songs being played.”

The band will be performing a total of nine songs.

“The first part opens with Alfred Reed’s ‘A Festival Prelude,’ one of the great classics of band literature. We follow that with a piece called ‘Joy,’ composed by Bridgeport native, Joseph Curiale,” said Johnston. “The first part ends with Robert W Smith’s ‘The Divine Comedy,’ an epic symphony for band… We’re doing the last two movements from this work: ‘Ascension’ and ‘Paradiso.’ These pieces are absolutely glorious, and fill your soul with hope,” said Johnston.

The second part of the concert involves a chance for audience members to partake in the holiday celebration.

“The second part opens with two Mannheim Steamroller Christmas pieces: ‘Celebration’ and ‘Fanfare and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,’” said Johnston. “After that, we give the audience a chance to join in the fun with our annual Christmas Sing-A-Long, ending with ‘Sleigh Ride.’”

Many members of the band are excited for this concert, due to the amount of hard work they’ve put into it.

“I am excited to perform in the concert and play the pieces that we’ve been working on as we transitioned from marching band season to concert band” said senior Nicholas Rivera.

In the midst of their transitional period, the band will be embarking on a ten day European tour.

“Our tour lasts for 10 days and includes stops in Vienna, Salzburg and Prague. We’ll be giving four concerts in conjunction with some well-known bands from Austria and the Czech-Republic, as well as giving a concert for a local school in Austria,” said Johnston. “I’ve wanted to take the band here for many years, and I’m thrilled that 65 band members are traveling on this: the band’s fourth international tour.”

Most of the band members who are going on the tour are excited for the experiences that lie ahead.

“I’m extremely excited because this is my second international tour with the band,” said senior Frankie Scarano. “Along with getting great experience playing overseas for a crowd more than excited to hear us, we will be getting a cultural experience and get to see some of the beautiful history of other countries.”

Before they go on their tour, the band wants to encourage everyone to come out and see their final live performance of the 2017 Fall Semester.

“If you haven’t taken the time to come hear the band in concert, try your best to do so, because it is a great concert and an awesome experience looking from the other side.” said Scarano.

“Holiday Voyage” will be taking place in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.

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