The Symphonic Winds of Fullerton College had their first concert of the semester on Thursday, Oct. 30. The ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Tony Mazzaferro, played a variety of pieces from film scores, to a solo concerto, memorial pieces and finished off with a march.
The concert opened with “Festive Overture” from the film “The Gadfly” composed by Dmitri Shostakovich. The ensemble sounded very festive as the title of the piece would suggest. It was an excellent opener to a great concert and the audience approved with an applause. Mazzaferro had a few words to say about the piece saying that Shostakovich wrote the piece simply because he needed money.
Mazzaferro went on to introduce the next two pieces describing them as memorial pieces written in memories for someone who has passed away.
The first one titled “Danza No. 2″ by Roger Ames was described by Mazzaferro as “not a sad piece at all.” He gave the audience an idea of what they were about to hear by having the flute section play their opening chord which was a major chord. He then had the clarinet section play their opening major chord. Then both sections played their chords together which revealed an conflicting eerie sounding chord.
The Winds then went on to play an adaptation of the very familiar and beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace” by Roger Ames. The piece is dedicated to the children of 9/11 whose parents died in the attacks.
The piece began with a very delicate yet beautiful introduction by the woodwind section until the main melody that we all know was shared by both saxophone and clarinet soloist. It almost sounded as if the piece was mimicking the familiar sounds of Scottish bagpipes that is often played at funerals and memorials. The piece featured the talents of many musicians who had solos during the piece.
Half way through, the piece transitioned to a different motive setting a different unfamiliar to the traditional tune. The transition included many delicate forms of musical colors until the entire ensemble finally joined together as one to create a beautiful symphonic sound. Then the main melody returns until the band finally settles to a serene sound similar to the introduction.
The audience was treated to a trombone concerto performed by Amy Bowers who is a freelance trombone player with many orchestras in Southern California.
Bowers along with the ensemble performed “Concerto for Trombone and Band,” a standard solo piece for trombone players. Bowers performed beautifully throughout the entire piece. She proved her talent through the cadenza sections where she was left to play on her own completely exposed without accompaniment. The audience loved her performance with some people giving her a standing ovation.
After, they went on to play “Vesuvius” by Composer Frank Ticheli, who is one of the most celebrated composers of wind music of our time. This was one of the most exciting pieces of the program. The piece was yet another rhythmically challenging piece. The piece as a dance telling the story of the final days of Pompeii. This piece had the audience listening as they anticipated the ensemble to play the climactic inevitable ending representing the end of Pompeii.
The concert closed with “In Storm and Sunshine,” a march by J.C. Heed. This was a great closer to an excellent concert by the FC Winds. Mazzaferro looked very pleased by the performance of the students.
The next and final concert of the semester will take place on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.