Darby bands captivated audiences at their concert

The Darby bands put on an amazing concert on Tuesday, February 28th when they held their annual winter concert. Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble performed along with a marimba soloist, Senior Matthew Connell. The concert was a success and every band performed very well.

The first to come out on stage was Concert Band. They performed three pieces, including At Sight composed by Harold Bennett and arranged by Larry Clark, Storm Clouds composed by James Swearingen, and The Dark Waters composed by Matt Conaway. The first piece they played was lively, as it was their marching piece. The second piece started out ominous, with a flute solo by Makayla Orth, and continued this tone throughout the piece. The third piece had a dark tone to it. The suspenseful nature of the piece made it seem like something out of a movie. Makayla Orth and Stephanie Caple had a flute duet towards the end of the piece. This was just the beginning of the entertainment for the evening.

The Symphonic Band came out next, beginning with their marching piece, Peace Jubilee. The piece, composed by Karl King and arranged by James Swearingen, had a carnival sound to it that made the audience feel as if they were at the circus instead of a band concert. The rest of their program included When Honor Prevails composed by James Swearingen and American Riversongs composed by Pierre La Plante. When Honor Prevails was a mix between a celebratory song along with some bittersweet moments. Symphonic’s third piece had a combination of different American folk songs as well as a jig at the end.

As the Wind Ensemble began to set up on stage, the director introduced Senior Matthew Connell, a percussionist, who was to play a solo on stage. Connell showed a lot of passion while playing. He made the piece quite musical by the beautiful dynamic contrasts he achieved. He stated that he had been working on the piece since October.

“I was very grateful and a little surprised [that they picked me] and it was an honor,” Connell said.

Matthew Connell
Photo taken by Emily Betteridge

The last group of the night was the Wind Ensemble. The three pieces they performed were Overture to Italian In Algiers composed by Gioacchina Rossini and arranged by Lucien Cailliet, Rest composed by Frank Ticheli, and Council Oak composed by David Gillingham. The first piece was originally written as an orchestral piece. It was fast paced and ebbed and flowed nicely with lots of flourishes along the way. The second piece had a soothing feel to it, and really embodied the title, Rest. It put the audience at ease with its calm melody. Council Oak was very unique, as it depicted several scenes of an Native American tribe, such as daily life, war, famine, and celebrations. This song captivated the audience, as they got a glimpse of the past.

Overall, all of the bands did very well. The musicians were able to speak through their playing, proving the power of music. Their next concert will be the OMEA contest held on Saturday March 4th, where all three bands will be representing Darby.

The band members are all nervous and excited for their upcoming contest. Sophomore Ezequiel Collado-Sanchez commented on how there can never be too much practice

“We’re definitely prepared, but practice doesn’t really hurt,” Collado-Sanchez said.

The band hopes all of that practice will pay off with the highest, which is considered a superior, rating at contest.

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