Being a saxophone player in a band is something that will be engraved into my mind. The way music is made by organizing different instruments is a fascinating experience. When the concert time arrives, I want those people who hate music to hear how beautiful it can be.
The Pennbrook Middle School auditorium is a very, very large room, and there you have it, the first problem of the night unexpectedly. When we practice, it takes place in the band room but the band room was small. When in a small room, the sound tends to reflect back at you, making it sound louder than it really was. The day before at the dress rehearsal, the band struggled to fill the auditorium with sound. This had good and bad effects. For soft notes or piano, controlling the air would be easier because the notes will sound smaller. Wrong notes would also be muffled, unless you had a solo. On the flip side, the percussion had difficulty playing loudly, and to really hit the drums with force was out of their comfort level. The bass instruments like the tuba, tenor sax, trombones, euphoniums, they were hard to hear since there instruments weren’t very loud from the start. When the concert time came along, none of the bad took effect on me, and yet all the good sides happened to boost my past in the band.
The concert time came, and it came with a lot of lights, a North Penn camera, and the action of the Montgomery-Bridle Path-General Nash-Walton Farm Wind Ensemble poised for blasting the audience out of their seats. Thing was that most of the kids on stage had no intention on blasting anyone (except for their parents for making them do this), and the only reason to perform was the reception after. You know in these days, if you promise cookies, preferable chocolate chip and some brownies, practically every kid would do anything, except for the people who are allergic.
So to start off the night, we played The Stars Spangled Banner, and Mr. Thompson, one of our two band teachers/directors, invited the audience to stand and sing the American anthem. After a beautiful run, we launched into the next piece called Fanfare and Fireworks. There wasn’t really anything that stood out other then the tempo, vivace or quick and fast paced. But shortly after came a really unique song called The Fires of Bandi. Other than the fact that we saxophones had a solo, the way I pictured this song in my head was a war. Each instrument was a separate army. In the beginning, the trumpets were dominant, while everyone else including us fell into the background. As the climax arrived, we set a perfect ambush, robbing the trumpets of their power, turning the tide. Then, every part in the band received a time to shine. Finally, a peace treaty was signed, and the white flag waved high as the song ended in one note.
Another particular song was Haunted Clocks. Before the song, Mr. Thompson gave a speech that this piece was meant to be messed up. So I really didn’t know what the audience was thinking at the moment. “What? The concert’s already bad enough, why makes it even worse?! I could be on my Xbox right now.” This song began with, as the title stated, the clock sound, but they were all jumbled up to give a chilling, “haunted” effect. The flutes came in after some off-timed woodblocks, ticking and tocking their faces off. Maracas came in, settled into the background as the flutes mimicked cuckoo birds at random times. Soon the whole percussion was awake, doing things off time, going against their nature. Mr. Thompson was waving his arms around, trying to control something that needed to sound uncontrollable. In the back, a tubular bell chimed its all too famous theme. The whole band then erupted, playing all spooky tunes. Eventually, the song ended the way it started, all messed up. The crowd off applauded as soon as the last cuckoo bird stopped.
To end the night, the band played the song called “Happy” by Pharell Willams. “It might seem crazy what I’m about to say”, but we did pretty amazing (like what I did there?). The band kept up with the fast pace, and as the saxophones, we got many solo. The composer gave us “clap along if you know what happiness is to you” as a solo, and we played with extra enthusiasm, forcing all our remaining strength into those four measures. And as quick as we started, it was over.
The crowd erupted in the auditorium. Although I might exaggerate on that, we deserved the applause and the reception. As I ate my chocolate-chip cookie and brownie, for once I earned some food by myself, for myself.
小学管乐团表演(ES Wind Ensemble Performance 03/24/2015)
(Mr. Thompson, Band Teacher/Director)
(Mr. Marcopul, Band Teacher/Co-Director)
(Reception w/ 6th Grade Classmates after Band Performance 03/24/2015)
(Decor of Pennbrook Middle School Auditorium)