The University of Redlands’ Symphonic Band held their first concert of the fall semester the evening of Oct. 4. The symphony began their concert with the striking song The Gallant Seventh, directed by conductor David Scott. The march was composed by John Philip Sousa in 1922 and is known to be one of his greatest works. The song is upbeat and was a wonderful opening for the show. Scott also conducted the next song, Dance of the Jesters, which was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The piece was heavily influenced by Russian folk music, and is known for its melodic excitement and boundless energy which lends the piece to be commonly used for ballets.
The band changed pace when baritone Saxophone player, Austin Davis, conducted the third performance, Song of Threnos “A Threnody for Band.” Though the piece is commonly used as funeral music, the symphonist, Alfred Reed, decided to repurpose the song to be a remembrance of life.
Conductor Scott returned to direct the final three performances. Fortress, by Frank Ticheli, opens with a percussion section. Quickly, the trumpets joined and their sound became central to the piece. This song is considered to be a strict march with a mix of a “smooth legato.” Beside Still Waters, by David R. Gillingham was played next and had an upbeat tune, which is used to illustrate a “chorale fantasy.” The piece juxtaposes peaceful and dramatic moments.
The finale of the performance was titled First Suite in E-flat for Military Band, by Gustav Holst. The song has a total of three movements, all different in form, categorized by chaconne, intermezzo, and march. In the chaconne, there is a fusion of instrumental solos. The intermezzo movement is remarkable because of the clarinet and cornet solos. Lastly, the march theme is famed for its faster tempos.
The overall performance left the audience relaxed and wanting more. The next Symphonic Band Concert will be here at the University of Redlands on Nov. 15.