BU Symphonic Band performs in Weis Center

Caroline Fassett, Staff Writer

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The University’s Symphonic Band performed at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 23, with its theme, “Great. Music. For. Band.”

This theme articulated through the music immediately. The first song performed was titled “American Overture for Band,” composed by Joseph Willcox Jenkins. Addressing the audience, Symphonic Band conductor and Professor of Music William Kenny said that all of the music done in the concert consisted of songs made “for band,” that when played together created “a really great repertoire.”

Following the band’s performance of “Scenes from the Louvre,” an Emmy-award winning piece composed by Norman Dello Joio for a CBS television special about the Louvre museum in France, the bassoon players took the spotlight for their performance of Michel Corrette’s “Le Phénix.” The piece solely featured the bassoon section of the band, Amanda Miller ’18, William Morse ’17, Daniel Park ’16, and Sydney Schiffman ’15.

Next the band performed Ira Hearshen’s “Divertimento for Band,” which featured four movements ranging in style that Kenny described as “modern takes on some great, great music forms that are translated in a very genius way for the modern symphonic band.”

The six-person percussion section seized its moment to shine in “Starship Groove,” a piece that was originally composed by Wayne Lytle as music that accompanied animated videos, or animusic, before being arranged by David Steinquest for percussionists.

The concert concluded with “Shepherd’s Hey,” a piece composed by Percy Aldridge Grainger, who once visited the University in the 1950s.

“Percy Aldridge Grainger loved bands. He was part of a band, he wrote a lot of music for bands. [“Shepherd’s Hey”] is a wonderful tune that features everybody in the band,” Kenny said.

Clarinetist Justin Meshulam ’14, an Accounting and Financial Management major, is the single member of the Symphonic Band graduating at the end of the semester. Following the show, Meshulam acknowledged that he felt sad that he had just played his last concert at the University, but stated that he was excited for what’s to come.

Though he is currently weighing various offers in terms of the career he plans on pursuing, he is certain that music will continue to be a part of his life after college in the form of community orchestras and bands.

“I think what’s really great is that music is something that you can always keep with you, and I know once I graduate there are going to be so many different opportunities for me,” Meshulam said.

Meshulam said that what he’ll miss most is witnessing and being a part of the process of improving and ultimately perfecting the music performed at each concert.

“The best part about being in band is seeing the practice you put in; starting the first rehearsal, it never sounds that great. But you get to see what happens over the next few months, and then it’s the final concert,” Meshulam said.

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