Sacred Heart University’s Band Program held its annual Instrumental Chamber Ensembles Concert on Saturday, Dec. 3 in the University Commons.
Among the ensembles performing were the Sax Quintet, the String Ensemble, the Flute Choir, the Percussion Ensemble and the two brass ensembles, the 930 Brass and the Phoenix Brass.
The event highlighted the Performing Arts Department’s Band Program, as its members played an array of different music, ranging from classical and contemporary to jazz and seasonal music.
“I enjoyed the concert and thought everyone sounded really good,” said junior Kally Tanguay. “I liked how it jumped around from section to section with strings, flute, sax, etc., and offered a variety of music, not focusing on just one thing the entire time.”
The concert began with The 930 Brass, an ensemble made up of five students, two on the trumpet, and the
others on the horn, trombone, and tuba. They began the event with two pieces titled, “Beyond the Clouds” and “Triumphant.”
Both songs offered a different style of music to the audience. Their first piece was slower paced, featuring multiple trumpet solos. Their second song, “Triumphant,” began slow, introducing its melodic content, but quickly moved into its faster and more accelerated tempo.
The next ensemble of the night was the String Ensemble. They played a piece titled “Capriol Suite, Basse Danse and Pavane.”
The piece had two separate sections to it. The first part, “Basse Danse,” held a very constant and fast paced tempo, with little to no pauses in it, whereas the second section “Pavane,” was smoother in its style of music, focusing more on subtle decreases and increases in the softness and loudness of the music.
Senior Tiffanie Rodenberg, violist in the String Ensemble, was very proud of her group as a whole.
“My favorite piece for my ensemble was ‘Brandenberg.’ It’s a very challenging piece that definitely pushed us all as a group, but the result was truly beautiful,” said Rodenberg.
The fifth program of the night was the Flute Choir. Their first piece, “Flutes and Vegetables,” combined four different movements. Each movement had its own music style featuring multiple flute solos and different types of tempos.
Following the Flute Choir was the saxophone quintet. The ensemble included multiple types of saxophones in it such as the tenor, alto, soprano and baritone. Each instrument had its own unique type of sound allowing many of the ensemble members to have their own solos in the pieces the group played.
“I really enjoyed the saxophone section,” said junior and violist Lydia Espaillat. “It’s incredible how each instrument blends together with one another to create an amazing sound.”
Another piece that the audience felt was really impressive was the Percussion Ensemble’s last song, “A Bird Whispered, Your Children Are Dying.” The piece featured five students, four on the cymbals and the other one on the xylophone.
“I really enjoyed the percussion ensemble,” said junior Zachary Lane. “Their creative choice on how they chose to play the differently toned cymbals in the four corners of the room and move together at the end was wonderful.”
The event concluded with the combined brass, as Director of Bands Keith Johnson thanked everyone for coming out to support the band program and its students.
Johnson conducted the students into their final piece, “Joyous (Joy to the World).”