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Wind symphony brings British-inspired music to theatre

By Jacob Summerville
On November 14, 2017

The Southeastern Wind Symphony performs their second concert of the season “Shades of England.” Jacob Summerville/The Lion’s Roar

The Southeastern Wind Symphony showcased music from England in their concert “Shades of England.”

The concert was held at the Columbia Theater for the Performing Arts on Nov. 9. The symphony, joined by tuba soloist Dr. Charles Goodman, played pieces from Stephen Montague, Percy Grainger and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands Derek Stoughton explained how the theme originated.

“There were a couple pieces that I wanted to do,” said Stoughton. “I knew I wanted to do ‘Lincolnshire Posy.’ I knew I wanted to do the ‘Intrada 1631’ piece, and I knew I wanted to feature our tuba soloist. Then as I was picking the pieces, I just happened to realize all of these composers are somehow tied down to the country of England. Stephen Montague now lives there. ‘Lincolnshire Posy,’ the pieces were taken from British folk songs. It all came in on a whim in that way.”

The production started with “Intrada 1631” by Montague. Montague stated that this piece was “inspired by a concert of early South American liturgical music directed by Jeffrey Skidmore at the 2001 Dartington International Summer Music School.” 

Senior music education major and trumpeter Jess Lambert explained how performing in an ensemble differed from performing a solo.

“Performing in an ensemble setting is different from performing as a solo player,” said Lambert. “As a solo player, you get to show off your own ability on your main instrument. However, in an ensemble, you use your ability as a musician to help the ensemble and try to blend your sound with everyone else. It takes a lot more effort to blend and perform well together in an ensemble.”

The next piece was a six-part composition called “Lincolnshire Posy” by Grainger. Professor of Music at Hartwick College Andrew Pease elaborated on the complexity of this piece. 

“Grainger uses every compositional device at his disposal to great effect: harmonies move unpredictably, meter is unstable or absent, countermelodies creep in and out of prominence, melodies go willfully go in and out of phase, all in service of the singer’s implied interpretation of each folk tune.”

Goodman then joined the stage for “Concerto for Bass Tuba” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. 

The final piece of the night was “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka, an American composer who had passed away earlier this year from colon cancer. 

Stoughton explained the significance of ending the performance with this piece.

“We knew we needed a way to honor Mr. Maslanka, and I think with three powerful pieces coming before it, just his words about how spiritual music makes us, the spiritual gift that music gives us, it was the perfect way to tie it all together,” said Stoughton.

Lambert also shared her appreciation for this piece.

“The words ‘Give Us This Day,’ which is from the Lord’s Prayer, touch the idea of being alive in the moment,” said Lambert. “This is why in the first movement you have a soothing lyrical section that is also powerful, and in the second movement, it gets faster and has a lot of energy. I love this piece because to me it’s about living in the moment and cherishing the life we live in and seeing the good that life has to offer.”

After the performance, two attendees shared their reasons for dropping in.

“I came out because I have some friends that go here,” said music major from Louisiana State University Harrison Dollar. “I go to LSU. I’m a music major at LSU, and I have some friends in music here. So, I came to support them. All four of those pieces were really good pieces.”

LSU music major Brandon Schittone gave his insight on the performance.

“I felt like when they really got intense, especially that last piece,” said Schittone. “They really went for it. They didn’t hold back.”

Lambert explained that the symphony had “rehearsal every day from Monday through Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.” 

Lambert also discussed her plans after graduation.

“When I graduate from Southeastern, I hope to get my degree in music education and try to find a job working at a middle school or high school teaching music,” said Lambert. “I hope that my musical career will lead me to become an educator that shows students why music is so important to have in our life.”

The Southeastern Wind Symphony will be hosting their “Collage Concert” on Friday, Dec. 1 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium.

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