Strike Up the Band (and Orchestra)

Last Thursday, Oct. 12, the University Band and the University Symphony Orchestra performed at Festival Concert Hall.

The conductors for the University Band were Warren D. Olfert, Jack Rudisell and Matthew Winarski. The conductor for the University Symphony Orchestra was Tony Sanders.

Both the band and the orchestra did an excellent job at performing the variety of pieces in their inventories. There were two pieces, however, that I liked above the rest.

My favorite from the University Band was their first piece of the night called “The Klaxon” by Henry Fillmore.

The Klaxon” was originally written for the 1930 Cincinnati Automobile Show. Henry Fillmore, the composer, had created an instrument constructed of car horns called the Klaxon. “The Klaxon” is a fun bouncy piece that is meant to capture an audience’s attention.

The woodwinds seemed to be the focus of the composition by keeping a nice flowing melody while in the background. The percussion kept a good beat, as percussion should.

After that opening march, the band and orchestra played an array of other music. Then suddenly it was almost the end of the concert. The audience had just finished listening to the University Symphony Orchestra’s last piece, “Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams, and there was one last piece of music that had gone unheard and unplayed: “Russian Sailor’s Dance” by Reinhold Glière.

The “Russian Sailor’s Dance” is originally from the first Soviet ballet in 1927 called “The Red Poppy.” This piece stuck out to me because it was one of my favorite works of classical music that I played for my band in high school.

The opening 40 measures are a low brass section’s dream come true. The notes, for the most part, are slow, deliberate and forceful. Slowly over the course of the piece, it speeds up and gets even faster and faster. Then with a final loud note, played by all the instruments involved, the “Russian Sailor’s Dance,” ends as quickly as it began.

Other upcoming NDSU Performing Arts events include:
Faculty Recital: Piano Trio
Jazz Ambassadors Concert

To view a full list of upcoming concerts, their locations and times, visit the NDSU Performing Arts website.

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