On Oct. 27, members of the musical ensemble silently filled the
campus theatre stage. Moments later, the audience applauded as conductor Anthony Mazzaferro joined the stage.
The band opened the show with a high energetic piece titled “Abram’s Pursuit” by David Holsinger.
“Thank you so much for coming to our concert tonight. That was four and a half minutes of just fast fun,” said Mazzaferro. “We have a marvelous music program here at the college. Students at a certain level are asked to perform a solo alongside the ensemble.”
Mazzaferro proceeded to introduce Fullerton College student Jarred Gamarra as the trombone soloist of the evening.
Gamarra performed Ferdinand David’s “Concertino for Trombone and Band” with the ensemble. His love for the art radiated from him as each note left his trombone.
Following this performance, Mazzaferro welcomed his twin brother as the evening’s guest conductor.
“It’s been wonderfully strange for [my students] to get the chance to listen to somebody who sounds like me in someone else’s body. It must be absolutely entertaining, I’m sure.” Mazzeferro joked. “Please welcome to the stage my brother, James Mazzaferro.”
A round of applause welcomed guest conductor Mazzaferro to center stage. With a wave of his baton, the band began “Prelude Siciliano & Rondo” by Malcolm Arnold.
The song included deep notes and a sense of foreshadowing. Compared to the earlier melodies, this one was slower and heartfelt. James Mazzaferro directed the band through each note in a graceful manner.
Once the song concluded, the guest conductor exchanged places with conductor Mazzaferro for the next part of the program.
“I mentioned earlier that we’re blessed to work with world class faculty of artists and musicians. Our newest hire here in the instrumental department is Professor Chad Willis who is a world class trumpet artist,” Mazzaferro said.
“We’d like to welcome him to stage as the first time playing with us in public.”
Willis walked on stage as the crowd clapped. He smiled and waved as he made his way to Mazzaferro’s side. He then picked up his trumpet and motioned the band to begin “Grand Russian Fantasia” by Jules Levy.
The piece was strong and tuneful. The song seemed to grasp the heart of every member in the audience. This melody brought the strings to life and was a highlight for the Symphonic Winds.
As the ending of the performance drew closer, Mazzaferro explained his purchase of the “Symphonic Dances” piece by Yosuke Fukuda.
“This is a series of five different styles of dances. The first is a series of renaissance dances which features soloist and ensemble. Second is a style of tango that will include sounds from the saxophone. Third is a hoedown piece, or the Japanese version of the hoedown. You have to decide.” Mazzaferro joked.
“The fifth movement is what sold me to purchase the piece. It’s a belly dance.” The crowd erupted in laughter as the conductor arranged his music sheets.
Once the room fell silent, the ensemble began to play each of the five styles of dances. Each song was different from the last, but all were just as enjoyable.
To conclude the night, the band performed “Dance of the Jesters” by P.I. Tchaikovsky and conducted by guest conductor Mazzaferro.
The piece was a very high paced and lively melody. The flutes and clarinets could be easily distinguished from the other instruments, but sounded lovely as a whole.
As conductor Mazzaferro concluded the performance with a swipe of his baton, the audience commended the band with a final round of applause.