Symphony Band to perform Masterworks concert on Friday

Emily Foster

Staff Writer

The Troy University Symphony Band will be performing its Masterworks concert on Friday, Sept. 29, in the Claudia Crosby Theater at 7 p.m.

“My hope is that (the students) will derive some kind of really deep musical experience out of this and that our audience will also be able to be transported musically in such a way that they wouldn’t be able to get someplace else— that everyone comes away having a really wonderful, meaningful experience,” said Mark Walker, the director of bands and a professor of music.

Ivy Long, a freshman exercise science major from Pittsview, is the second chair oboe player for the Symphony Band. This year is the first year that the band will be including oboes.

“I hope that the audience feels the music and what we’re trying to put out there because that’s what it’s all about,” Long said. “It’s about making art, making people feel.”

The band will be performing three pieces during the concert: “At the Summit,” an arrangement of three movements from Richard Strauss’s Alpine Symphony, “Remember the Molecules,” a contemporary piece by Michael Markowski and “Enigma Variations” by Edward Elgar.

“In ‘Enigma’ there’s different movements,” Long said, “and these movements represent different people, and I hope the audience can see the personalities and people that the music was written about.

“One of the movements is someone who couldn’t play piano, so there’s somebody in the drums playing something like what they would play on piano and it sounds awful, but it works.”

Walker described the purpose of the Symphony Band as getting students back into the habit of playing symphonic music and giving them a great standard repertoire to be able to perform.

“The students get exposure to music of such incredible beauty and importance,” Walker said, “and they get back into the cycle of playing symphonic music again and it sets us up for our remaining concerts throughout the year.”

The Symphony Band has been practicing around the clock in preparation for the Masterworks concert. Some of the marching band practices have been canceled this week in order to give the Symphony Band more time to prepare.

“I love it,” Long said. “I’m hanging in there, and it’s hard.

“It’s very difficult, but it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

“Expect to see something that is not done out of requirement but something that’s done out of passion and something that’s really going to hopefully emote something,” said Ben Weber, a freshmen computer science major from Panama City, Florida, and French horn player for the Symphony Band.

“I’m really excited because it’s something that we get to put our heart into so it’s great to be able to show that off,” Weber said. “To be able to have something that’s made out of pure emotion come to fruition and be presentable to the general public…we’re really excited to show that off to everyone.”

The Masterworks concert will start at 7 p.m. on Friday night and will last about an hour. It will be free and open to the public.

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