Many excited “whew’s” and wow’s” were audible in the Fullerton College Campus Theatre Tuesday night during the music departments Symphonic Winds performance.
The ensemble put on a crowd pleasing show which received a standing ovation.
Under the direction of Dr. Anthony Mazzaferro and with special guest artist and conductor, Elisha Wilson, the band performed an eclectic mix of music composed by various artists.
Some scores, such as the opener “Bullets and Bayonets” by John Philip Sousa, evoked memories of patriotic wartime marches. Others, such as “Rag,” the third portion of “First Suite for Band” by Alfred Reed, transported the audience to another decade with its 1920s style beat and vintage trumpet notes.
The premiere performance of “We Have Echo- An Aeronautic Overture” by Mollie Budiansky was a completely different style from the rest. This piece featured a call-and-response between different sections of the band.
Professional horn soloist and music faculty member of a few California state and community colleges, Elisha Wilson, performed in “Pele” by Brian Balmages. She set the tone for an urgent and suspenseful sounding piece that the band impressively matched.
Wilson also conducted “Incantation and Dance” by John Barnes Chance. The piece boasted an intriguing and unique percussion section which the artists cleanly executed.
She conducted with her whole body. Wilson’s passion brought excitement to the show that proved entertaining to watch and fabulous to hear.
There was a palpable energy between Wilson, Dr. Mazzaferro and the musicians. It filled the theatre with excitement.
The performance drew a strong physical and verbal response from the audience.
By the end of the show, people were tapping their feet and moving. One man nearly jumped out of his seat as he was bouncing so much during “Gallop,” the fourth and final portion of Reed’s “First Suite for Band.”
Their performance exemplified the unity of the musicians and the result was a fantastic show.
Paul-Michael Martin played bass trombone and noted that everyone practices on their own and comes together a couple times a week, but he said, “98 percent of the time it clicks and it just feels like we’re all ebbing and flowing together.”
The Symphonic Winds concert was sentimental for alto sax player, Lissie Teran Cruz.
“It’s one of Dr. Mazzaferro’s last performances with Fullerton College,” she said. “Having the honor of him conducting us and the guest conductor we had today just felt really special.”