It was my first time to attend a concert by our very own UTC Symphonic Band. The concert was entitled “A Night at the Movies”. It was held last Wednesday, February 29, 2012 around 7:30 in the evening at Roland Hayes Concert Hall.
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The concert was directed by Dr. Stuart M. Benkert, a musical legend of the Chattanooga Department of Music. Dr. Benkert has been a professor of music and director of bands at the university for twenty years now thus I was very excited to have a glimpse of the show. When I got a copy of the pamphlet I was very ecstatic to see attend the concert because the pieces the band are playing are musical scores from my favorite movies.
The first piece that greeted the audience was “Raider’s March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I identified the music as from my all time favorite classic Indiana Jones. The song started with a soft blend of wind and string instruments. Pauses can be heard in between notes as the music opens.
Then a high pitch trumpet sound awakens the audience. The string instruments in the background are played on a constant note while the wind instruments are perceived to be the dominating and powerful ones. After a few notes the high pitch sounds fades and the constant string instruments in the background take center stage.
There is a great deal of shifting in terms of instruments played. I like how the students in the band take turn sharing the spot light with one another. The music gives an epitome of harmony. I find it very beautiful especially since it reminds me of the Indiana Jones series. The next piece was a medley from the music of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
The medley was composed of Courtyard Apocalypse, Battlefield, Lily’s Theme, Voldemort’s End, The Tunnel and A New Beginning. It started with a very chilly sound giving a dark feeling to the audience and ended with a soft and low piece played with string instruments which for me gave a sense of hope. The transitioning of sounds from one piece to another was indeed well practiced for it was very smooth.
The third piece was Suite from the Dark Knight which is composed of Harvey Two Face, Introduce a Little Anarchy and Like a Dog Chasing Cars. This I can say was my favorite piece among the 6 because it gave me a soothing and calming feeling at the very start but the sound gets more intense with the rhythm and beat taking a faster tempo. I can say I am in love with the sound of string instruments coupled by a few percussions.
The fourth music was that of Pirates of the Caribbean. I like how the beat of the music gave me a vision of a hot pursuit. The blending of the instruments is beautiful. Next we were introduced to another John Williams classic. The Star Wars Trilogy is composed of three prominent musical scores from the movie namely The Imperial March, Princess Leia’s Theme and Star Wars.
The transitioning and blending of the sounds was superb. It was amazing how the different beats made one musical piece. The last song was a selection from Walt Disney’s Fantasia. This was a great piece to end the night. The beats of percussion, wind and string instruments seemed to summarize the sounds of the night.
I watched Beat Hunger last year and was greatly impressed by the UTC Symphonic Band’s talents and team efforts so I have decided to give A Night at the Movies a go. The concert was held at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall and it was performed last February 29, 2012.
The concert was directed by long time faculty staff Dr. Stuart M. Benkert. I was particularly curious on how the band would interpret the music from our all time favorite movies namely, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and Fanatasia.
I have set my expectations lower than expected as I did not want to be disappointed. After all the band members are still students and they cannot compete with the professionals who have played the music of the movies.
When the concert started, the first music from Indiana Jones’ filled the room. Raider’s March was a symphony of beats. I like how the students gave a twist to the march as the beats illuminated the dark auditorium with upbeat sounds. It reminded me of the adventures of Indiana Jones I used to watch as a kid. It brought pretty exciting memories.
Though the song was repetitive I enjoyed how each note was played by the band members. They did very well in pulling the song off in harmony. The next piece was a series of music from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was conducted by a senior student named Andrew Caroll.
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As I read from my pamphlet the a student will be leading the said piece I grew a bit disappointed as I trusted Dr. Benkert’s talent more but Caroll proved me wrong as the 6 songs in the second piece filled the room. I have to say he had done very well as the each beat was more pronounced than the last. I loved how the band played their respective instruments with finesse.
The combination of drums, violins, and flutes was amazing. The next piece was from Batman: The Dark Night. I recognize the piece right away as the Joker’s face came to mind. It was amazing how the pitch of each note was controlled by the band but at the same time the tense and pressure from each instrument can be felt in the audience. It was simply beautiful. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End came next.
Each group of instruments took turns in playing. As the song came to its chorus all had played simultaneously producing a divine sound. It was powerful indeed. The pauses gave dramatic effects to the song. The piece was conducted by another student, Reed Bobo. I found him very charismatic as how he had produced such as divine piece. Star Wars Trilogy came next with 3 songs lined up.
They are The Imperial March, a song most of the audience was familiar with followed by Princess Leia’s Theme and lastly it was closed by Star Wars. The transitioning of sounds was great. The last piece would definitely be my all time favorite.
Selections from Walt Disney’s Fantasia brought back memories of Mickey Mouse carrying a bucket of water from the well. This music earned a standing ovation from me at the end. I cannot believe how the band was able to surprise me. Two thumbs up for A Night at the Movies!