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Students showcase music talent in small ensemble concert

by Zach Wagner - Lifestyles Editor
Wed, Mar 11th 2020 02:00 pm
 Students showed their talents through a concert revolving around movie and TV theme songs. The brass ensemble, led by Natalie Fuller  pefromed many classics from `Sesame Street` to `SpongeBob SquarePants.` Guest artist Brigette Meskell capped off the show by singing a renditon of  Nirvana's `Smells like Teen Spirit.`
Students showed their talents through a concert revolving around movie and TV theme songs. The brass ensemble, led by Natalie Fuller pefromed many classics from "Sesame Street" to "SpongeBob SquarePants." Guest artist Brigette Meskell capped off the show by singing a renditon of Nirvana's "Smells like Teen Spirit."

When watching your favorite shows and movies, the catchy theme song to start the program would always somehow grab your attention, while getting stuck in your head at the same time. The College at Brockport xylophone and brass ensembles hosted a small concert, Wednesday, March 4, centered around a TV and movie theme. Many different instruments were on display as the talented young musicians took the audience for a trip down memory lane.

“It was actually one of the student’s ideas,” music studies professor Natalie Fuller said. “I really like the students to be into what we are playing and I will often ask for requests from them.”

After a student suggested they went in the direction of playing songs from TV shows and movies, Fuller approved of the idea as they prepared for this concert since the first week of the semester.

The woodwind quintet accompanied by a French horn started the concert on a high note by playing the infamous song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from the movie “Toy Story.” From that point forward, the crowd was intrigued, due to the fact everyone in the audience, young or old had some memories attached to the classic film.

After playing the one song, the woodwind quintet swapped out with the brass ensemble, made up of eight student musicians: three trumpets, two french horns and three trombones. Together they played a seven song set, all from some of the more popular shows television has witnessed.

They kicked things off by playing the “Sesame Street” theme song, then sparking another childhood memory by performing the “SpongeBob SquarePants” theme song, then capping off the children’s theme with “The Addams Family.” Through their set, the brass ensemble encouraged the audience to sing along and participate, which was quite easy for the crowd considering all the songs hold great sentimental value and were fun to sing. In the last four songs, the brass ensemble played the “Hawaii Five-0” theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” paying homage to the late Mr. Rodgers. To finish with a bang, the brass ensemble brought in percussion for assistance with the “Mission Impossible” and “The Flintstones” theme songs.

For the second half of the performance, xylophones and percussion took over the stage, going away from the television and movie theme.

Junior Jared Spring and Professor Natalie Sarrazin took over the stage for a xylophone duet they performed at the Faculty Concert weeks prior. Spring and Sarrazin played “Losgelassen,” which included a solo from Spring. He has been playing the xylophone since sixth grade and spends a lot of time practicing in order to get better at his craft.

“I’ve been playing the xylophone since sixith grade,” Spring said. “I practiced many hours doing the one solo piece that I did. The solo piece was a piece I did with a teacher at the Faculty Concert and we decided that we should do it for this concert.”

 Band director and lecturer Scott Horsington, has seen the music department on campus grow over the last decade, adding new ensembles and creating new opportunities to perform and showcase talent.  

“At some point in the early 2000s they had a few small groups, they would do one concert a semester to show what they were working on,” Horsington said. “Over the last 10 years we have been expanding the program adding more groups.”

The audience for this ensemble was made up of mostly students who were there as a requirement for class. Horsington believes in doing this it can open up the arts side of the campus while providing some exposure for the talented musicians the campus has to offer.  

“You can think of it like a lab,” Horsington said. “If you are taking any science classes, there is always going to be a lab attached. It is one thing to talk about it, but to actually see it is different. A lot of the intro students have never been involved and this is a chance to get a practical application of these things.”

 The small concerts held on campus every so often, give music students a chance to showcase their talent driven by all the hard work they put in week in and week out. Themes like television and movies offer a fun and interactive concert for everyone to enjoy.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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