On Tuesday, Nov. 5, students in the NC State Wind Ensemble had the opportunity to show off their skills to students and families at their fall concert, which was held in Stewart Theatre. In addition to the full wind ensemble playing their prepared pieces, there were several pieces performed by three smaller ensembles that were created and run by the students.
The full wind ensemble is directed by Paul Garcia, the director of bands at NC State. The ensemble presented the pieces “Chorale and Alleluia” by Howard Hansen; the first, second, third and fifth movements of “Suite of Old American Dances” by Robert Russell Bennet; “Chorale Prelude in E Minor” by Alfred Reed; and “Andrea Chenier: Excerpts from the Opera” by Umberto Giordano.
All of the pieces were very upbeat and engaging. Each of the pieces performed sounded cohesive and overall amazing. The ensemble played very well as a unit, with no mistakes drawing attention to any one player over the others. Among the favorites of the night were “Suite of Old American Dances” and “Chorale Prelude in E Minor.”
Garcia spoke of the work the students put into the concert.
“It’s a lot of dedication by the students,” Garcia said. “For them to put in the focus, come in, put in the extra practice time outside of rehearsal to learn all the notes and rhythms in music … It’s quite an undertaking and a testament to them and the amount of work and the things they are capable of doing.”
The work Garcia talked about was clearly evident throughout the ensemble’s performance.
The student-run small ensembles performed their pieces about halfway through the full ensemble pieces. The three small ensembles that performed included a brass quintet, a trombone quartet and another quintet composed of a flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn and clarinet. All of these groups were student-led and prepared a single piece along with the ones they played with the full band. The students in these small ensembles had to prepare their own pieces outside of class time, along with practicing the pieces for the full ensemble.
Many of the audience members came out to support friends and the ensemble itself. Morgan Trotter, a third-year studying business administration, said she enjoys supporting the wind ensemble because many of her friends are involved in it.
The wind ensemble has their holiday concert on Thursday, Dec. 5, in Stewart Theatre. The symphonic band has their next concert Thursday, Nov. 14. For more information and upcoming events, visit its events page.