Campus Life: Symphonic Band and Jazz Band

Caroline Fassett, Staff Writer

On Sept. 28, the University’s Symphonic Band and Jazz Band performed at the Weis Center to conclude an eventful Family Weekend.

The Symphonic Band played four pieces altogether. Rick Benjamin, founder and conductor of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, was featured on the tuba on the second piece titled “Down in the Deep Cellar.” A citizen of Lewisburg, Benjamin has played in major venues varying from Carnegie Hall to commercials for McDonald’s.

In putting together the set list for the concert, Symphonic Band conductor William Kenny had many aspects to consider.

“I wanted it to be a good variety. I knew I only wanted about 35 minutes of music. Many members of the band had requested ‘An American Elegy,’ and that was my first time ever doing that piece,” Kenny said.

The last song, Alfred Reed’s “Lorva Horovel” from Armenian Dances, was first performed in the first concert Kenny conducted at the University 25 years ago. He told the audience he was happy to bring it back.

Following a brief intermission, the Jazz Band, led by conductor Barry Long, took the stage. Though the program indicated they would only be performing four pieces, after two pieces a band of eight students, who call themselves the Bucknell Jazz Collective, played their rendition of “My Funny Valentine,”  calling it “My Funky Valentine.” Each instrument had its moment to shine during the piece, especially the tenor saxophone, played by Zach Berliner ’15.

Early into the Jazz Band’s set, the string of Alex Horowitz’s ’16 bass broke.

“I had a three hour gig before this at the Jazz Brunch in the Terrace Room. From continued playing it started slipping and slipping, and I guess it sort of snapped off,” Horowitz said.

Luckily, he had an electric bass that he had used earlier beside him, so he played with that for the remainder of the show.

The show ended with much applause from the crowd of students and their families.

“I am just so impressed with how engaged the students are in the band. They don’t have to be there. Most of them just do it because they want to make music at a high level. I’m so grateful to work with them,” Kenny said.

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