By Sean Goodwin
Symphonies consist of many instruments playing together in time and harmony to create pleasant (and sometimes unpleasant) sounds for an audience to hear.
Taking each section and isolating them might still sound pleasant, but it would drastically change the whole sound.
For one section of an orchestra, this is especially true. The brass section, which consists of instruments like the trumpet, trombone and tuba, can sound beautiful alone, they focus on making an orchestra sound big, loud and intense.
The music department has a dedicated brass ensemble, and they performed a variety of songs utilizing only brass instruments Tuesday in the Music Recital Hall.
The free concert focused solely on a type of instrument that people don’t pay as much attention to as other instruments which provided a unique look into music that people aren’t offered often.
The afternoon started with four beautiful songs performed by a brass sextet consisting of Mariela Gomez, Christopher Geere, Kyle Robetson, Jessica O’Brien, Louie Tran and Saria Colwell.
The songs provided a good way of allowing the audience to settle into the style of music being performed to better prepare them for the rest of the concert.
The fifth song of the concert was “Ave Maria” by Johann Sebastian Bach performed on only four trombones. This version was arranged by Charles Gounod and was performed by Raymond Fong, C. J. Woods, Rudy Garcia and Kevin Truong.
The piece is a beautiful classic which consists of one voice singing an iconic, high-pitched melody over a bed of an intricate rhythm section. What made this performance special was the method of recreating this wide range of pitches using four of the same instrument.
Over the course of the concert, more trombonists slowly came onstage to make the brass ensemble bigger with each song.
Each musician onstage allowed each song to get louder. That became obvious by the time “Diversions for Six Trombones” by Fisher Tull was being played because the changes in volume throughout the song started to surprise the audience.
The last piece called “Tower Music for Eight Trombones” by Vaclav Nelhyubel was the perfect ending for the night. The brass ensemble consisted of Raymond Fong, C. J. Woods, Jose Patino, Jordan Wicks, Alex Gonzalez, Rudy Garcia, Kevin Truong, Jacob Geosano and Felix Diaz at that point.
The director of the concert, Lori Stuntz, had to give a warning before the song.
“The bass trombone is the loudest acoustic instrument. We’re going to prove it to you with this next piece,” Stuntz said.
Although the piece never got to an unbearable amount of volume, the bass trombone did give the piece an intensity that brass is known to give a full orchestra. The song went through many changes of volume, emotion and intensity that made it mesmerizing to watch and listen to.
The concert lasted less than an hour, but it was enjoyable from beginning to end. Each song provided something new that kept the whole performance fresh and fun.
The brass ensemble performs a concert every quarter, and watching it is a really good way to see a side of music many people don’t notice in the first place.
Courtesy of Pexels
The Brass Ensemble performs a concert every quarter
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