Not many people can say that they have attended a School band performance and got lost in the music, but I can. Last night, I was given the opportunity to attend the Parsippany Hills High School’s presentation of Music For Winds and Percussion. It was great.
Now, you might think I am biased since my son is the Timpani player of The Wind Ensemble, but I am VERY picky when it comes to music and there was more than one occasion that they music was played so beautifully, that I just let go and got lost in it.
Frankly, it was a virtual walk down memory lane for me.
The concert began with the younger set of High School Students, in the Concert Band. There was the Slavonic Rhapsody by Dvorak, nicely played. Rhythm Stand, where the kids played on their stands with a No. 2 pencil. (very interesting piece) a very interesting twist! Next came my favorite (here is where I started getting lost in the music) West Side Story….it made my heart smile. I loved the percussion, clarinets and bell chimes in One Hand, One Heart….it was beautifully played and I loved the gradual progression in the crescendo and the beautiful yet powerful hushed decrescendo that led into the snarky Jets Song with its pungent xylophone, snapping of the fingers and Tuba ending. A Place For Us was quiet at its start that gradually added on instruments one by one to a beautiful forte, then down to a hush again at its end. Just touching…..wish I had recorded that one.
Mary Poppins…now that one brought me back to my bedroom, on the floor with my Sisters, where we played the Mary Poppins album over and over on our record player. Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag) started the piece, followed by Teaspoon of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-Ee/March Over the Rooftops, Step in Time, followed by a sweet Woodwind solo in Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It was great!
Next was The Lion King Broadway Selections, which took me back about 20 years to when my 1st couple of children were little. It started with The Grasslands Chant, a toe tapping “Just Can’t Wait To Be King” where a nice percussion part was played on the Timpani, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Hakuna Mattata, and a great ending with King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise).
A quick break and the Wind Ensemble took the stage (my Son, Nathan is in this older group of Students. They began with Highlights from Les Miserables, played very nicely, considering it was a last minute add on to the performance; followed by the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens arr Bocook, and a mesmerizing Riverdance, some of which could be seen here.
I loved the piece since Riverdance was one of my favorite CDs to listen to when my couple of kids were little….I used to listen to that CD ALL the TIME!! I just got lost in the rhythm, not to mention, I got to see my Son play…a LOT since he was the playing the part of the Irish Step Dancers in the song. Loved it. Next was a piece from John Williams that included pieces from Harry Potter, ET and Raiders of the Lost Ark…more memories there through the years of the kids growing up and movie time with my Hubby. The final piece was called Mazama: Legend Of The Pacific Northwest. The history of it is here.
The cool thing about the piece was its use of flute, picolo, and ocarina combined with Native American singing parts. I would have had it recorded fully, but my phone died!
For the most part, it was just an all around, feel good concert. I am so glad I took the time to go. I wish more parents came out to see the performance. The place was relatively empty, but hey….I got a front row seat…and for a shorty like me, that is a very good thing.
ps- one more juicy tidbit for my paranormal friends regarding Crater Lake: http://paranormalstories.blogspot.com/2009/10/crater-lake.html