On Sunday, November 16, Dr. Erik Janners and the Marquette University Symphonic Band presented their second, and finest show of the semester. The concert, titled Struggle and Triumph, highlighted various pieces relating to the themes of successes and struggles. In perhaps the most well known piece of the concert, the band opened with the brass section standing on the floor of the Varsity Theater belting out a great rendition of Bugler’s Dream by the Frenchman Leo Arnaud (perhaps most well known as the Olympic Theme Song used during NBC broadcasts). The concert itself lasted just over an hour, which was a nice adjustment from the overly long 2 hours of the previous concert, which focused on marches.
Amanda Myer, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, and first year flautist in the MU Band, says that the band has practiced about 15 times since their last concert, for about two hours per rehearsal.
Their hard work and dedication to the pieces shined especially brightly in the band’s fourth piece, Paris Sketches by Martin Ellerby, a four-movement selection. The flute section was especially excellent.
However, perhaps the most mesmerizing and mystical moment was during Dance of the New World by Dana Wilson, where a myriad of Afro-Cuban inspired drums really stole the show. My only regret for the entire concert was that there was not an entire song devoted to the incredible sounds coming from the percussion section.
Unfortunately for the Marquette Symphonic Band (but perhaps more so for the Marquette Community) attendance was sparse.
According to Peter J. Merkel, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, and second year bass clarinet and baritone saxophone player, “As per usual, the turnout seemed to be mostly parents and other family of the band members, but I was glad to see at least a few students in attendance. It is disappointing that we perform at our best for a few hundred at our concerts. The thousands of people at basketball games hear very little of our repertoire and skill.”
Merkel also remarks that, over the past couple of weeks, the band has been balancing both their symphonic and pep band rehearsals during their allotted two hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the Varsity Theater.
Look for the Pep band at all home Men’s and Women’s Basketball games, and know that their repertoire is not simply limited to a rousing rendition of Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4.
The next concert is the Marquette Music Area Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. in the Varsity Theater.