The Indiana State University Concert Band began its student recital series with a performance Oct. 4 at Tilson Auditorium.
The performance began with the piece “Sea Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Written in 1923, ‘Sea Songs’, along with various other works by Williams for wind bands, helped lay the foundations of English folksong literature. The Concert Band continued with the performance of “Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre. “Seal Lullaby” is described as a loving, dreamlike story of a mother seal singing softly to her young pup.
The tone of the concert changed with the performance of Carlos Chávez’s piece “Chapultepec: Obertura republicana”. This piece was composed in a way that combines elements of traditional folk songs with more modern compositional techniques. Following this humorous piece, the first and fifth movements of “Scenes” from the “Louvre” by Norman Dello Joio were performed. “Scenes” from “The Louvre” was originally featured in a 1964 television documentary titled “A Golden Prison: The Louvre.” Dello Joio produced and provided the soundtrack for this documentary and aimed for its composition to match the historical depth of the film. Another piece by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the first and third movements of “English Folk Song Suite” was presented next. English Folk Song Suite is categorized as another of Williams’ foundational pieces and was originally to include the previously performed piece, “Sea Songs”. To conclude the concert, the band performed John Philip Sousa’s march, “Liberty Bell”.
A unique feature of the harmony is that its membership is made up of both Indiana State University students and members of the regional community. Together, this “com-university” ensemble acts as a laboratory orchestra for students in advanced music education to learn about ensemble conducting and also serves as an opportunity for students to play an instrument other than their main instrument. .
The Indiana State Orchestra is a non-auditioning band and consists of both non-majors and music majors. During this concert, four music education students had the opportunity to conduct a piece. Noah Guerra, a sixth-grade music education student and percussionist, was one of the student conductors at the concert. Noah explained that being able to conduct the orchestra helped him “gain the confidence” he needs to succeed as a conductor in high school. Noah expands on this advantage by noting that he strives to have fun while making music, which became easier with high levels of confidence.