By GRACE LIU
UHS Band hosted its first concert featuring the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Wind Symphony this past Tuesday. Led by Band Director Mr. Corey Heddon, the performance featured students of all grade levels, as well as a variety of music ranging from slow and majestic melodies to upbeat dances.
One of the more unique pieces of the concert was Earthdance by Michael Sweeney, performed by the Wind Ensemble. It was an ambient, earthly song that incorporated unconventional aspects like clapping and snapping, and mimicking thunder, rain and other nature sounds through percussion.
Additionally, the Wind Symphony performed two pieces that were, according to Heddon, the “cornerstones of band literature”: The Immovable Do by Percy Aldridge and the Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst. The Second Suite in F was filled with distinctive melodies, and even featured the sound of an anvil in the third movement, titled Song of a Blacksmith.
“One of the best parts of the concert has to be Wind Symphony,” junior Mansi Solanki said. “They were able to convey a lot of imagery through their performance in the Second Suite, especially in the Song of the Blacksmith.”
The Symphonic Band performed Cumberland Cross by Carl Strommen, featuring two facets of American folk style music: broad melodies and Copland-like dances.
“I was really nervous but once I got on stage it was a really good feeling,” freshman Misha Lee said. “My favorite part was the feeling afterward, when you finish a piece, and you can just relax.”
The UHS Band Aids President, Tracey Vukalovich, also introduced the Master Artist Series, presented by the UHS Band Boosters, that will begin in November. The series’ goal is to invite guest artists and teachers to work with students, further develop their skills and provide them with extra musical opportunities.
As the first concert of the year, this event provided an opportunity for students and parents alike to be able to see how the bands will improve throughout the rest of the school year.
“It serves as a learning experience in terms of music and working as a group,” Solanki said.
Students were excited about the concert and what it meant for their future ones.
“The concert was so good, and I love band with all my heart,” junior Ilana Cohen said. “This is a great experience to showcase the talent of the UHS Band program and our love of music, and since it’s the first concert of the year, you can all go our concerts and see how much we improve.”