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Armstrong’s Department of Art, Music and Theatre presents Wind Ensemble in Concert

By Arielle Powell, Staff Writer

Armstrong’s Wind Ensemble performed live in concert, Oct. 7 in the Fine Arts Auditorium with a harmonious ensemble, highly respected conductor and exquisite, concise writing from various composers.

The Wind Ensemble had a four part concert consisting of different genres of music. The background of music ranged from symphonic wind ensemble, Mediterranean folk dance influences, folk songs and influences of Scottish Lake. The concert highlighted the ensemble’s creativity with the melodic pieces.

The first piece, “A Festival Prelude” written by composer Alfred Reed, consisted of distinctive styles and wind band orchestration. This particular piece stood out as a very fascinating and magical one that is a true classic. The play progressed to Norman Dello Joio’s “Satiric Dances” featuring Mediterranean folk dance influences that offered a powerful setting. “Satiric Dances” began with Allegro Pesante and moved to Adiago Mesto, as well as Allegro Spumante.

The next piece, Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “English Folk Suite”, consisted of nine different songs that both the students and conductor put together. Beginning with the lively march “Seventeen Come Sunday”, the ensemble then gave the audience a melancholic transition to Intermezzo “My Bonny Boy.” The piece concluded with an enthusiastic March “Folks Songs from Somerset.”

The final piece was Johan’s de Meij’s Loch Ness “A Scottish Fantasy.” This piece consisted of five impressions of the Scottish Lake. It begins with “The Lake at Dawn” and eventually transitioned to “A Storm,” a recreation of how it suddenly rains and the next moment it is sunny. “The Conclusion” ends the piece of movements performed without pause.

Senior, Chreanna Byrd, played the oboe for the Wind Ensemble. Chreanna has been playing the oboe for over ten years. ”I actually did a good job on my solo. Normally I get nervous,” Byrd said. “When we actually make great music, it comes the day of the performance. Everything is together.”

Mark B. Johnson, the Wind Ensemble’s conductor, was delighted about the outcome of the performance. Mark Johnson is also a professor at Armstrong and teaches a variety of classes ranging from music education to music conducting. The ensemble consisted of various instruments from piccolo, oboe, to euphonium.

Johnson said, “The ensemble is composed of all students of Armstrong and non-music majors.” There are several upcoming events featuring the Wind Ensemble. ”Nov. 20-22 we are hosting our annual high school and middle school band clinic. Students from all over North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia come to Armstrong to receive valuable information about different aspects of music. We also are hosting a free concert,” Johnson said.

If anyone is interested in being involved in ensembles on campus including: choir, jazz, or percussion, contact Mark Johnson at mark.johnson@armstrong.edu. It is not too late to get involved.

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