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Flashback to the 70s and 80s

Students Perform at Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band Concert

Band+performing+at+concert.
Band performing at concert.

Band performing at concert.

Mr. Steffen

Mr. Steffen

Band performing at concert.

Catherine Tadin, Senior Writer

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The Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band premiered a new 70’s and 80’s themed concert this year on February 12, 2017 in the McLaughlin Theater at 3:00 pm.

Mr. Jason Steffen, the director of the bands, decided to add this new concert because he thought it would be a great experience for the students in band.

“As a student I never had a themed concert, and I thought that it would be nice to have music with a theme,” Mr. Steffen said.

The theme — music from the 70’s and 80’s — was chosen by the students. They presented ideas for themes such as Disney songs and Musicals before their respective bands, and the band voted on what the theme would be for the concert.

“I find it interesting that students chose 70’s and 80’s music out of all the themes. It’s inspiring,” Mr. Steffen said.

Yuchen Wang ’18 said, “I think it’s pretty good that students can pick modern-era music instead of Bach.”

In prior years, the bands played medleys such as “Aladdin”, “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Star Wars” in the fall and spring concerts. Mr. Steffen said another reason he created this concert was so the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band could play more classic band pieces for those concerts.

The students chose the actual songs for this instead of Mr. Steffen making all the selections, and they will be the ones deciding concert order.

Kristin Mendoza ’17, president of the Pep Band, said, “Overall it’s fun that the students get to choose a themed concert and what music we play.”

When asked about his decision to let the students pick all the music, Mr. Steffen talked about how it is important for the students to take ownership over the music instead of it being just another piece.

“I wanted the students to really delve into the process of choosing music for concerts,” Mr. Steffen said.

Members from both the Wind Symphony and the Symphonic Band picked pieces for Mr. Steffen to order, then sight-read the pieces to decide whether or not to play them for the concert. “I think it’s an excellent idea, primarily because it encourages the students to more actively examine the music they enjoy,” Bryce Leggett ’18 said.

Some of the songs that were played are “You Should Be Dancing” by the Bees Gees, “You Give Love A Bad Name” by Bon Jovi, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

With the addition of this concert, there is even less time for the students to learn the music as they have to prepare for Open House after the Fall Concert, which leaves only around six weeks to learn the concert pieces. “It kind of challenges us to learn new music in less time,” Mendoza said.

The winter pops concert was a big success this year.  According to Robbie Skoronski ‘17, the audience was captivated and involved in the concert much more than usual.
All members of the wind symphony wore sunglasses, a creative addition to the concert that will be remembered for years.

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