The Music Department’s final performance for the semester brought the Symphonic Band to stage with a night of premieres.
Conductor Pamela B. Bustos started the night off with “Amparito Roca” by Jaime Texidor. Swift and upbeat, the whole band presented great energy in this festive melody.
Next was a world premiere called “The Cause Effect,” composed and conducted by UW-Superior’s very own Sara Broshofske. The piece is described as “A significant contribution to free speech,” and does with a gentle flute solo at the beginning. After those graceful notes were played, the woodwinds continued the melody and then all the band joined and built in volume.
Karyn Pederson conducted “Handel in the Strand” by Percy Grainger. Its light, playful beginning soon screamed with energy. The tone on this piece was groovy like a party. The xylophone in the back really gave it that spark.
After a little scene change, the university’s only brass chamber group, The Full Brass Jackets (consisting of Matthew Booth, Adam Hille, Brian Langlee, Zach Reuben, and Alex Veraguth), took the stage to perform John Sousa’s famous march, “The Washington Post.” The familiar tune was bright, spirited, and perfect for brass. Listening closely, you could hear each instrument’s part in the song as their teamwork led all the way to the end. The Full Brass Jackets continued with “Three Highland Miniatures”, three “miniature” pieces that proved brisk and smooth.
The UW-Superior Chamber Wind Ensemble presented “Octett, Opus 216: Allegro Moderato” as though every instrument were breathing a conversation.
“Merengue” by John Paulson, CEO of MakeMusic Inc., was quite tropical. With maracas in the background, relentless woodwinds, strong brass, and drums beating, it was as though you were watching a dance in the Dominican Republic.
The last song, “Psalm” was conducted by its creator, John Paulson, who walked out from the audience and took up the conductor’s baton. Beginning slow and light, a few solos were heard, and then the volume expanded through the band like a battering pulse. It rested back to a moderate tone, slowly building itself up again, and just when you thought it ended, one instrument remained to carry the tune on a little further.