Concert review Essay

Concert Review 1
I am doing a review on the Eastview Patriots Marching Band. This is only their second year performing, so thought it would be interesting to see how they did. I went to see their halftime show on October 18th. The percussion section was set up completely on the sidelines, while the rest of the band marched on the field in groups of ten or so spread out over the center of the field. The band consist of 95 students. Broken down into sections they would consist of 18 percussionist, 22 trumpets, 6 french horns, 12 flutes, 15 clarinets, 6 tubas, 5 baritones, 2 piccolos, 3 oboes, 2 bassoons, and 6 trombones.

The band, ran by directors Amy Frost, and Emily Tannert did a performance entitled Cathedral. It consisted of four pieces of music, Engulfed Cathedral composed by Claude Debussy, Stained Glass by David Gillingham, Angus Dei by Samuel Barber, and Palace of Nine Perfections Movement 3 composed by Eric Ewazen.
As the band entered onto the field, there were recorded tapings of Monks Chanting. The Color Guard brought out depictions of stained glass windows to set the mood. The band began there first song Engulfed Cathedral. Originally this piece was entitled The Sunken Cathedral or La Cathe’drale Engloutie. The piece was created as a piano solo, but when made for orchestra the name was changed to Engulfed Cathedral. The piece started with a triangle keeping the beat and then adding the xylophone. It really set the mood well, feeling as if it was a large church setting, especially with the Monks Chanting. The rest of the band entered, the dynamics were pianissimo, with the percussionist making most of the song. The tempo started very slowly, and began to go to allegro as the piece went on. There was a flute solo closer to the end, which to me was probably the best part of
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the piece. The band did well with the dynamics, pianissimo to fortissimo, then back to pianissimo at the end.

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The second piece was called Stained Glass. This was a percussion ensemble piece. It started with two xylophones, and then the chimes coming in. The dynamics stayed at piano, and the tempo was legato growing into allegro. It definitely gave me the feeling of being in a large church, but I was definitely disappointed in the dynamics through the piece. The band only played about three minutes of this, but I was thankful because it was about all I could handle. It was very saddening because I love percussion ensembles.

Thirdly was Angus Dei. The band marched around to form a semi-circle with the stained glass pieces on the outside of them. This song was a ballad. It was originally created for stringed instruments, so it was interesting hearing a marching band play it. The piece was in B flat minor, so it gives you that sort of creepy, haunted feeling. It started out pianissimo and molto adagio and then began to grow. The trumpets I believe were a little overwhelming compared to the rest of the band. The song was very calming and serene even though some sections gave it a little too much volume. It was dominated by melody, which I enjoyed. The band entered the middle of the piece at a fortissimo level and the tempo was molto espressivo. It died back down at the end, and ended as it started. I thought for a high school band only in their second year they did a decent job on this piece.

Lastly was Palace of Nine Perfections Movement 3. Again this was a percussion ensemble piece. It started with xylophones entering. The dynamics were piano, but I honestly could not tell if that was on purpose or because there was only two of them. The timpani came in over powering the rest of the percussionist. I do believe he loved this part. It was a nice piece, again very calming and serene. The timing was off a little in the end, believe it or not due to the girl playing the triangle. Overall, it was not to bad, but I was ready for it end.

My favorite piece was the ballad Angus Dei. It was a very nice piece of music. I came home
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after-wards and listened to the original piece for orchestra. I do believe stringed instruments would have really made this piece more beautiful, but it was a marching band after all. They did keep to the serene flow of the piece most of the time, as long as the trumpets were not trying to over power the rest of the instruments.

I would say that Eastviews’ performance could have been much worse. Overall it was not to bad for a second year marching band under new direction. The crowd did not seem to interested, probably due to the classical style of the music, but these are the pieces they are playing at competition. They did not march to much, standing in place most of the time. If there were not a percussion section then there would not have been much music played. Most of there songs were mainly xylophones, triangle, and timpani. I think with another year of practice, this band has potential to be really good. Well, at least the percussion section.


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