Rebecca Byers – The Corsair
Ludwig Von Beethoven once said “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.”
The first Brass and Wind Ensemble at Pensacola State College performed Thurs night, Oct 7, at a full Ashmore Auditorium in Building 8.
“This was a very hard and challenging program,” Conductor Don Snowden, Director of Pensacola State’s music department said. “In 3-4 days it all came together, the band did great and I am very proud of them; overall, the best first performance of the past 23 years I have been in here.”
The band started off with a moving and graceful piece by Rossano Galante called, Raise of the Son. You could feel the energy from the musicians as they played. Each piece was beautifully played with several solos. Each soloist played with a passionate love of music.
The one song that was the most challenging, according to Snowden, was Heart and Song by David Gillingham. This music presented itself as a mysterious and never ending sound. I felt swept away with the speed and pace of the tempo changes. The flute solo, that was performed by Lauren Martin, was inspiring.
“I was very nervous about my solo; I don’t think I did as well as I have been, but I think this is the best we have done,” Martin said.
The music was upbeat and moving to the point that it had you tapping your toes. Some of the songs they played may have reminded you of old movies like Casablanca.
The Jazz Ensemble followed the Wind Ensemble conducted by Roger Villines. The musicians, looking very jazzed up, wore dark shades and fedora hats. The musicians showed how much they enjoyed playing the music through their performances. Each musician had a solo that they played with so much heart and soul you could feel the music.
One song called Channel One Suite by Bill Reddie was, according to Villines, the longest and most challenging piece. The piece was complimented by several solos a trumpet, trombone, guitar and saxophone solo followed by a long drum solo at the end. This song was very upbeat and had the audience dancing in their seats.
“Overall, I think that the performance was excellent. I am very proud of them and happy with them”, Villines said.
The overall experience was amazing and beyond my expectations. All the songs were upbeat, toe tapping, and made you feel warm inside. Both ensembles performed extremely well. They really put all of their heart into their performances recieving a well deserved the standing ovation.