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BC Ensembles Perform Together

Tuesday evening, November 13, Grey Auditorium played host to three concerts, as the Wind, Jazz and Fusion Ensembles joined together for the 2007 Fall Concert: Equus.

The Jazz Band performed along with the Wind and Fusion Ensembles.

The Wind Ensemble started off the concert, playing a 30-minute set, in which all of the songs were pulled from the play production, Equus. The band started their section off strong with a bright, bouncy opener that set the mood nicely. The group also showed off their many skills, both together and separate, with the second and third movements, titled “Ronde & Salterelle” and “Pavane: La Battaille” respectively. The former is was gallant and triumphant number that featured a particularly heavy horn section that the players managed to pull off with gusto. The latter, however, is the true climax of the performance, and felt nothing short of epic during its entirety. Building melodies and mounting suspense finally converged into a crescendo with some entertaining back-and-forth playing between the string and horn players. The group finished with some strong flute work in an Irish-inspired suite.

Next, the audience received a swift change of pace when the jazz band came out bursting at the seams, playing “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” which conductor Charles Turner, who also conducted the Wind Ensemble, deemed a 50s, Kansas City swing song. Complete with slap bass and bursts of speedy percussion, it was one of the most energetic tunes of the night. The band also turned to more funk-tinged songs, such as the tight “Birdland” and the playful “Fowl Play.” The latter featured solos from most of the performers, and none of them disappointed. Paul Rowland wowed the audience with a stinging guitar solo, while bassist John Bradley and drummer Jacob Hamrick also had their moments to shine as well.

Finally, the Fusion Ensemble was lead in by conductor Tripp Bratton, who also played percussion for his group, wound their way through four experimental, yet highly melodic tunes that provided even more surprises. Strong solos could also be found with the Fusion Ensemble around every corner of every song, such as the standout baritone sax sections by Jacob Slocum and entertaining trumpet playing from Benjamon Getz. However, it was when the band was moving forward together that the songs really took flight. Conductor Tripp even admitted that this was the first year that he even tried to perform the final song of the set, “Chromazone,” as it was very note-heavy and required maximum chemistry. But from the beginning, it was clear that chemistry was not one of the band’s weaknesses.

Chemistry was not a problem with any of the ensembles, and it doesn't look to be in the near future, as the groups gear up for the Christmas concert on December 2 at Union Church.

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