The Shippensburg University Woodwind Ensembles put on a quality concert full of advanced pieces for its fall recital last Sunday.
The SU Music and Theatre Arts Department presented the recital in Old Main Chapel Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. Three groups performed during the recital: The clarinet choir, saxophone choir and flute choir. Each group had a variety of music from classical pieces to fun holiday mashups.
The saxophone choir performed first. All members of the saxophone family were present, including a soprano saxophone, which is most common in jazz.
One notable highlight from the saxophone choir portion of the performance was the piece “Allerseenlen op. 10 No. 8” by Richard Strauss. Many well-known opera singers have performed this piece. The choir’s warm sound and blending between the lower and higher instruments made audience members feel like they were in a cinematic movie.
After the saxophone choir, the clarinet choir took the stage. Like the saxophone choir, all members of the clarinet family performed, including the contrabass clarinet, which is only used in a clarinet choir and some pieces in concert bands.
“In the Mood,” by Joe Garland, was a highlight of the clarinet portion of the recital. The Glenn Miller Orchestra made this song famous during the swing and big band eras of the 1930s and 1940s. The arrangement allowed freshman Xavier Pick to improvise lines over the melody of the song. Spontaneously performing a solo is a difficult skill to master, however all soloists did an excellent job of improvising during the number.
To close the concert, the flute choir took the stage. This choir had two notable highlights: The “English Folk Song Suite” by the great composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams; and “Christmas Wars” by renowned composer John Williams.
The “English Folk Song Suite” is considered a standard repertoire piece for any classical group. The audience never experienced such a beautiful, warm tone as what was produced by the flute choir. Before the final song, each member of the choir presented their instrument and gave a demonstration to the audience, which allowed rare instruments such as the alto flute and bass flute to be shown off.
“Christmas Wars,” by John Williams, is a medley of notable Star Wars pieces and Christmas carols. Some mashups included “The Throne Room and End Title” mixed up with “Joy to the World” and “Han Solo and the Princess” mixed up with “O Tannenbaum” and many more.
Overall, all the musicians did a fantastic job performing, especially because many performers played multiple instruments in multiple choirs.
The SU Music and Theatre Arts Department will present its next concert, the SU Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers Concert, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the Messiah Methodist Church. There is no cost to attend.