Jazz Band II, with Ben Siegel on vocals, performing “Night and Day”
As the lights slowly dim, the group collects their focus and readies their instruments. The conductor, Kent Kurrus, counts off “a one, two, three, four” and the room explodes with music. On Tuesday, November 30th, the M-A Band and Orchestra performed at their annual fall concert.
Jazz Band II started the concert with “Chili Pepper 101,” a lively tune that was the perfect start to the program. Kurrus, the director of M-A’s award-winning Band and Orchestra, said, “This year, we’ve been even more challenged because we’ve been gone for a year and a half. And actually, I did not predict the groups would spring back so quickly. We’re quite pleased and I hope you are too, it’s just nice to come back and feel – at least for a moment in time – a sense of normalcy.”
Next up was Jazz Band III, which studies the advanced structure and arrangement of music, as well as improvisation. They displayed their knowledge in numerous solos from some of the talented musicians in the group.
Though the music seemed seamless and well-prepared, the band had previously encountered a last-minute change, but adapted and prevailed. Kurrus said, “We’ve had an interesting day because we’re missing our main trumpet player on three of the charts tonight, so we did some serious scrambling. I’d like to give a special thanks to Bailey Brosamer and Carl Ingelsson for stepping up tonight.”
As the holiday season has begun, the group obviously had to include some classic holiday songs, and an extra special Santa hat.
Concert Band, after performance of “Blue Ridge Saga”
After a quick 15 minute intermission, the Concert Band performed a set of three songs. These included “Arsenal”, “Prelude & Fugue in G Minor,” a two part song, and “Blue Ridge Saga.” Kurrus described Bach and Moehlmann’s Prelude, as “setting the tone for what’s to come.” The Prelude concluded and Kurrus introduced the Fugue, explaining each bit and significance of the piece.
Finally, the concert transitioned to its last act- the M-A Orchestra, by far the largest group of the three. They played the abridged version of “Amadeus” from the hit motion-picture movie about composer Wolfgang-Amadeus Mozart, along with Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and Robert Sheldon’s “Resurgences,” a piece that symbolizes the resurgence of the music department after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Final applause for the Orchestra!
Carson Sanie, a violinist, felt that the concert was an escape for the performers. “It was nice to forget for two hours that we have homework.”
Overall the event was a success, leaving the audiences looking forward to the next concert to come, which will take place at the beginning of next year.