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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Music Departments shows off their talents using multiple instruments

The Channels Arts Pages | CRITICAL REVIEW
Professor Emeritus Dr. Charles H. Wood III (bottom left) conducts the premiere of his Fanfare for America with a combined brass choir on Nov. 6 at First United Methodist Church in Santa Barbara, Calif. Members of the various ensembles that performed earlier in the night came together to bring Wood’s piece to life.

A small crowd gathered at the First United Methodist Church to view the Chamber Winds concert on Nov. 6. 

Directed by Eric Heidner, Charles Wood III, and Cody Anderson, the performance featured 11 bands within the City College Music Department.

The evening commenced with the Trumpet Ensemble who were all dressed in floral printed shirts performing “España Cani” by Pascual Marquina Narro, Then, “Over The Rainbow” by Harold Arlen.

With this being my first concert, it was refreshing to hear some familiar songs sprinkled throughout the performance.

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This recital also featured the Youth Trombone Choir, a free program taught by Heidner for middle school and high school students that helps to improve their musicianship. 

“It is my goal for everyone to play the trombone,” Heidner said, as laughter from the audience rang out. 

The instruments ranged from trumpets, clarinets, flutes, trombones, oboes, and bassoons. It was unique to see large bands that did not have a rhythm section, which would usually be composed of drums, bass guitar and piano. This allowed me to focus on the conductors and the chemistry between the ensembles. 

I wish I had a greater understanding of chamber music and the different types of instruments so I could have enjoyed the show to its full potential. A majority of the crowd were musicians and families, who seemed to have a greater understanding of the music than I did. 

This was definitely highlighted with some of the slower tunes in the recital, specifically with the flutists. The relaxing atmosphere of the theater and the soft flute melodies caused me to drift off occasionally.

The highlight of the show was the Brass Quintet, which performed five classic Hollywood scores, such as the Twentieth Century Fox theme by Alfred Newman and the Ghostbusters theme by Ray Parker, Jr. Behind the quintet, there were movie posters of the songs performed decorating the wall. 

After the intermission, the energy of the crowd was higher and I was eager to hear more from the musicians.  

The final piece of the night was composed and directed by Wood III, titled “Fanfare for America”. Wood III was soft spoken and his calm demeanor did not prepare the audience for the grand closing curtain for the night. Unlike the other groups, the final song invited a majority of the musicians throughout the show to perform this emotional and captivating piece.

The number of musicians emphasized the meaning behind the song, which the audience seemed to interpret. 

With little to no experience in chamber music recitals, I was worried I was not going to be able to share the experience of the recital. However, after the concert concluded, I was confident and eager to share a part of City College that I had a newfound appreciation for. 

The next performance City College is curating will be “Jazz in the Garvin” on Nov. 21. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth at the Garvin Theatre.


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