Band and orchestra collaborate
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Traveling through time one song at a time. On May 11 the band held their final concert for the year themed the Big Red Time Machine. Different from their traditional concerts, which would include every major ensemble performing a three or four pieces each. The new theme allowed the students to choose the music they wanted to play and to arrange or transcribe it for their specific section. Band Director Michael Lebrias had decided on the idea of a time machine as it gave the students more freedom to choose music. “We’ve got music from the 90s, 80s, 70s, classical music and music from movies that are about the future,” Lebrias said. “It’s really exciting to branch out and do this because the students get to work on their own stuff.”
Before the concert students gathered around the courtyards in sections as they worked on their paper plates. It is something that many students were excited for. “The paper plates are always exciting,” Senior Jessica Marshall said. “It’s like everyone knows who this person is and ‘oh yeah, they do that.” There is also the perspectives from the different people who are current section leaders or future section leaders. “It’s pretty exciting drawing them,” Senior Bianca Pastrana said. “and thinking about everyone’s inside jokes.”
After the distribution of paper plates and last minute practice, the concert was going to begin. Although most students weren’t nervous there were still some fleeting nerves. “No, I think we practiced a lot,” Freshman Frederico Jenrette said. “We worked really hard for this so I’m pretty sure we’re going to do really good.”
Since it was a new style of performance Lebrias himself had some concerns. The way the show went was as soon as one group finished performing the next one would go up and it would require a complex matrix of transitions and lighting. “We’ve got 2 people on the spotlight and one person running the light booth,” Lebrias said. “I’m really interested to see how the transitions work because we’ve had very little practice inside the auditorium.
The concert opened Hardcore by Fanfare and from there transitioned into iconic songs such as ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor and several other songs. “You’ll hear video game music from the 80s,” Lebrias said. “And pop music from the early 2000s.”
Their performance even featured student singer, Francesca Ani in ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing if it ain’t hot That Swing’ arranged by Victor Lopez.
Before their final song of the evening, they did a short break in which Lebrias explained the concept of the performance and what had been going on since they had just started playing without an explanation.
The final song they played was the ‘The Great Locomotive Chase’ by Robert W. Smith. This performance included everyone in the music department which averages to over 100 people. The song includes everyone in the band, orchestra, and the percussionists. The song utilized not only everyone’s instruments but included different sounds to mimic the sounds a train would make such as the steam.
At the end of the night there were mixed feelings about the performance but most thought of it as a success. “There was a lot going on,” Sophomore Navya Bandharam said. “No explained the concert so everyone just started playing and it was kind of confusing but other than that it was fine.”
For many, this wasn’t their first concert and they enjoyed the outcome. “We always come through,” Senior Ezequiel Villagomez said. “We like to procrastinate with our music and everything and practicing but at the end of the day, we always manage to pull off a good show.