All your Trophy Point questions answered!
On Saturday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. the West Point Band will continue its 2016 Music Under the Stars summer series at the Trophy Point Amphitheater. The band will present a program entitled “Far and Away,” featuring musical selections from around the globe. In the lead up to this concert, several of our band members have also found themselves “far and away” from their regular post at West Point. As musical ambassadors for West Point and the Army, members of the West Point Band are often requested to perform, teach, and share new ideas with communities across the globe. In recent years members of the band have worn their dress blues for events as far away as the United Kingdom and Japan. In the past two weeks Staff Sergeants Katrina Elsnick (piccolo), Phillip Broome (euphonium), Keith Kile (tuba), and Anna Pennington (oboe) traveled in separate directions to share their skills and expertise at various concerts, music festivals, and conferences.
On June 1st Staff Sgt. Elsnick joined the Arlington Concert Band and its music director James Kirchenbauer at the Washington-Lee High School to perform its season’s finale concert, entitled “Piccolo Perfection.” A fitting title for the band’s resident piccolo player, Elsnick wowed the audience with Eric Richards’s Dance of the Southern Lights, which showcases virtuosic solo melodies amidst Afro-Cuban rhythms and harmonies. A highlight of the piece was notably Elsnick’s own cadenza, in which she wove snippets of the well-known flute solo by Debussy’s Syrinx as well as the famed piccolo solo from John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. With the audience demanding more, Elsnick closed her performance with the rousing Wren Polka by Eugene Damare. “The experience of working with the band was wonderful, especially as the conductor, James Kirchenbauer, was my high school band director! I met with many of the audience members after the concert […] and I was able to inform [them] about the Academy and my role as a musician in the West Point Band.”
From May 30th to June 4th, Staff Sgts. Philip Broome and Keith Kile attended the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. Over 1,200 attendees converged from around the globe to participate in a whirlwind week of recitals and master classes featuring the tuba and euphonium. Euphonium player in the West Point Band, as well as a highly proficient recording engineer, Staff Sgt. Broome presented a lecture on proper recording techniques for his instrument, entitled “Recording The Euphonium: It’s Not Rocket Science.” Broome shared his extensive knowledge on recording techniques that even the layperson could use to create high quality recordings on a budget. Broome’s presentation was met with interest and appreciation by a packed house. “I received a lot of great comments and feedback from participants. Most of them were students looking to record themselves better for auditions and competitions, etc.” As the classical music sector becomes increasingly competitive due to an ever-growing pool of qualified players, a good quality preliminary recording is instrumental (pun intended) to establishing a career in music. Broome’s expertise was well received in Knoxville and the professional connections that both Broome and Kile fostered during the week will certainly contribute to the collective strength of the West Point Band and the United States Military Academy.
Not so far and away from Knoxville, Staff Sgt. Anna Pennington returned to Memphis, Tennessee as a guest artist and faculty member of the PRIZM Music Camp and International Chamber Music Festival from June 6th to June 11th. Recognized by the National Alliance of El Systema Inspired Programs, PRIZM hosts an annual festival that enables young musicians from all backgrounds to work with and perform alongside world-class musicians from all over the globe. The mission of the PRIZM Ensemble is to “build diverse community through chamber music education, youth development, and performance. PRIZM concerts are collaborative, accessible, and inclusive of student performance and opportunity.” Throughout the week Pennington performed on several faculty recitals, led multiple master classes, coached chamber ensembles as well as the orchestra, and moderated a panel discussion comprised of diverse professional musicians and educators as they spoke to students about traditional and nontraditional careers in music. Pennington shared, “It was such a privilege to be a part of this festival, to work with the students and other faculty, and to be able to represent the Army and West Point. It was a busy, jam-packed week, and the energy was palpable […] These students embody what it means to come together from diverse backgrounds and work and perform as a team.”
Lucky for the West Point Band and the Hudson Valley community, Staff Sgts Elsnick, Broome, Kile, and Pennington are back in town and will be joining their colleagues for Saturday’s “Far and Away” concert at the Trophy Point Amphitheater. Bring your picnic blanket, enjoy the sunset vista, and be sure to say hello to them after the concert.
Post by: Staff Sgt. Natalie Wren
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Take heart Summer fun-seekers, a concert at West Point’s legendary Trophy Point Amphitheater just might be the perfect summer evening. This annual tradition on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy combines festive friends and family, Hudson River vistas, glimmering stars overhead, and rich American history with heart-stopping music performed under the stars by world-class musicians.
And while words cannot do this spirit-raising experience justice, here are just a few reasons West Point Summer Concerts will rock your world.
Music isn’t the only thing in the air at Trophy Point. From the moment you arrive, you’ll sense a patriotic energy that lifts your spirits. With high-flying flags, military heroes, and time-honored cheers, you’ll experience American pride on full display.
West Point’s world-renowned band boasts multiple generations of talented musicians, many of whom hold graduate degrees from top music institutions. If the band can captivate at ceremonies, parades, sporting events and celebrations, just imagine how they sound on their own home turf.
Unlike your typical music event, West Point concerts give you plenty of room to spread out, feast on a picnic, and relax with your favorite people. Trophy Point’s natural hillside amphitheater gives fans across the grounds spectacular views and impeccable sound quality. So whether you’re watching the band front and center or dancing on the hilltop with your kiddos, Trophy Point is on point.
West Point summer concerts are completely FREE of charge. Where else can you enjoy an out-of-this-world performance and dazzling fireworks show without spending a dime? Make a summer tradition out of it. And bring visitors. It’s a pretty safe bet this is one experience they can’t get at home.
Little known fact: The West Point band members are born Rock Stars. And they don’t take that responsibility lightly. So when you come to a West Point Band Music Under the Stars concert, expect great music, but don’t expect to stay in your seat. Because whether inviting kids onstage to play along, letting you choose the evening’s featured soloist, or leading audience sing-alongs, the band constantly finds surprising ways to engage you, the audience.
Think of the West Point campus as a living history museum. It’s where George Washington stationed his headquarters during the American Revolution, calling these very banks of the Hudson River “the key to the continent.” The West Point Band has been performing here since 1817. Since then, they’ve appeared at numerous historic events across the nation.
No filter? No problem. Trophy Point is the ultimate picturesque backdrop for a night of unforgettable music, easily transforming any smartphone photo into a masterpiece. Colorful sunsets echo melodies on the Hudson horizon. Heroic fireworks gleam with pride in the stars above. Rest assured, any memory you capture alongside the nation’s finest uniformed musicians will capture souls.
West Point concerts offer summer fun for the whole wolfpack. Your little ones will love the excitement of Trophy Point. Firework shows, dancing on stage, and plenty of opportunities to bask in the joy of music with the band themselves. Plus, there’s not a whiff of bad influence in the air. So parents can kick back, munch on picnic goodies, and enjoy wonderful performances worry-free. Win-win.
West Point concerts defy expectations. Sure, the band performs classical works, and they do it flawlessly. But these musicians are also masters of country and rock! Think rugged guitar jams, folksy banjo tunes, the whole enchilada. The setting is more relaxed than you would assume too. West Point feels like any college campus. Youthful, vibrant, and full of life. Ideal for a summer music celebration.
Where else can you see top-notch music at a beautiful venue with your loved ones for FREE? Where else can you celebrate America on the very grounds our forefathers fought for? Where else can you see live cannon fire? Cannons!? Only one place: West Point.
After 20 years of service to the West Point Band as a soldier in the U.S. Army, saxophonist Master Sgt. Wayne Tice retired on Friday, June 19, 2015. Throughout his time in the band, he served as principal saxophonist, section leader, and woodwind group leader. We are thankful for the skills and leadership that he contributed throughout his career.
As Master Sgt. Tice thumbed through the music library one day, he came across a piece that struck his attention, an arrangement of Tableaux de Provence by Paule Maurice for solo saxophone and winds. On April 8, 2015, the West Point Band recorded the piece, which was arranged by Brian Sparks. Sparks, a classical saxophonist and conductor, was also a member of the West Point Band and U.S. Coast Guard Band. MSG Wayne Tice collaborated with Brian Sparks to help bring this recording to fruition.
I. Farandoulo di Chatouno
II. Cansoun Per Ma Mio
III. La Boumiano
IV. Alyscamps I’amo Souspire
V. Lou Cabridan
Photos by: Staff Sgt. Torin Olsen
Post by: Staff Sgt. Ashley Mendeke
america, Army, army band, band, bassoon, Clarinet, Classical Music, concert band, flute, free performance, military band, oboe, quintet, service, sousa, United States Military Academy, veterans, West Point Band, winds, woodwind quintet, woodwinds
If you ever ask an aspiring classical musician what he or she wants to do, the overwhelming answer is to play in a full time orchestra. The orchestra has amazing versatility, with its repertoire spanning over five centuries. The concert band too enjoys a wide spectrum of music, from Gustav Holst to David Maslanka. But if you were to ask a professional classical musician the same question, more often than not the answer is playing chamber music. Playing chamber music, usually within a small ensemble ranging from three to twelve players, challenges musicians to really take accountability for the interpretation and performance of a work. When there are only, let’s say five musicians on stage, there is no conductor there to maintain the tempo, influence balance, or guide the musical interpretation. So the musicians must take on the responsibility of leading, following, actively listening, and reacting to the music around them. It is both nerve racking and exhilarating.
The many classical chamber ensembles that comprise the West Point Concert Band include two brass quintets, tuba quartet, two woodwind quintets, steel drum band, and the list goes on. As a member of the Academy Wind Quintet (AWQ), I am proud to work with incredible musicians who challenge and inspire me to be a better musician. On January 23rd, the AWQ had the privilege of performing for 1,200 students at the Hommocks Middle School in Mamaroneck, New York. We performed a variety of music including American folk tunes, marches, several movements from Cuban-American composer Paquito d’Rivera’s Aires Tropicales, and a few movements from Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, a piece very near and dear to my heart. The kids were great; they had plenty of questions for us pertaining to our instruments, to the West Point Band, and to the cadets at the Academy. They seemed to really enjoy the music that they heard, particularly the Latin dances heard in Aires and of course the flashy piccolo solo from our national march, The Stars and Stripes Forever. Their enthusiasm was yet another example of the importance of concert music, and how live music enables people to tap into their imaginations, broaden their horizons, and participate in a collective experience. By the end of our second performance in the afternoon, I think we were all ready for a nap. But tired or not, the show goes on! The Academy Wind Quintet recently returned from our recital tour in Ohio and Kentucky, with stops at the Universities of Cincinnati, Louisville, and Kentucky, as well as the VA hospitals in Louisville and Cincinnati. We also made appearances on public radio stations WUOL of Louisville and WVXU of Cincinnati, as well as a television appearance on Louisville’s local Fox television station. To say it was exciting would be a massive understatement. Serving my country by playing great chamber music with fantastic musicians? Yes, please!
By Staff Sgt. Natalie Wren
Photo by Staff Sgt. Torin Olsen
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By Staff Sgt. Sam Ross
Today I would like to give you a detailed look into the process of auditioning for the West Point Band. As someone who has recently gone through the audition process and joined the band, hopefully my experience will provide a realistic glimpse for both the non-musician and someone who is interested pursuing a career in a military band. While auditioning can be a somewhat dizzying and even harrowing experience for some (including myself at times!), we try to make sure it’s a positive experience whether you leave with or without a new job. Like with any audition, musicians search various sources to learn of new vacancies and auditions with various ensembles. Most of these are published on websites like Musical Chairs, trade journals like the International Musician, on the ensemble’s own website and social media, through flyers distributed by the organization, or by word of mouth. As most who are in the audition circuit are in school or recent graduates, information about audition vacancies can be pretty easily obtained through their teachers, job bulletin boards, and of course, the internet. As other musicians can probably relate, there is an ever-continuing hunt for audition announcements, so we make sure ours are disseminated through all the standard means.
The West Point Band handles its auditions somewhat differently than most bands or orchestras. Many organizations hold open-call auditions that simply require résumé submission and a deposit to hold your spot for an audition time. In addition to résumé submission, our band asks the interested person to also submit an audition recording. This essentially serves as the preliminary round of the audition that would typically take place live at the audition site. The applicant is required to record a couple of pieces or excerpts that the Band designates, and then he or she has the creative freedom to put other works on the recording that showcase specific strengths for that particular vacancy. I remember being pretty excited about being able to choose what else I put on my recording. My audition was for an E-flat clarinet position (think high, possibly squeaky notes), which just happened to be the instrument I loved playing most. So making my recording was at least somewhat enjoyable! A few times recently the band has used an open call audition (often in nearby New York City) to fill a vacancy, but more often than not we stick with the recording round process.
Making an audition recording is a process in and of itself—practicing the music, buying/using a personally-owned recorder or hiring someone to record you, and having a good space in which to make the recording. Luckily for me, the time I made my recording coincided with the same time of year when many musicians make application recordings for summer music festivals and graduate schools. Still freelancing at the time, I was doing those very things to further my musical development. And since I was already knee-deep in the process for other pursuits, what was one more thing to add to the list? Once the CD was finished and submitted, there was time to breathe a bit and think about other things until hearing back from the committee. The couple weeks of wait time between the “prelims” (recordings) and the second (live) round was longer than the usual half hour at an open-call audition. Instead of waiting nervously in a holding room between rounds, I was able to chill on the couch and go on with normal life for a few weeks (all the while continuing to practice diligently, of course). After being selected from the recording round, I was invited along with a handful of others to the live audition round on site at West Point. Travel to the live audition at West Point was covered by the Army (ah, there’s some more incentive to make a recording!).
Preparing for the live audition is much like that of preparing to record, but much, if not all, of the required music for us was different. In the midst of preparing for the musical challenges the audition will provide, the invited candidate then gets in touch with a local Army recruiter to start the process of qualifying for enlistment. This ensures that the band selects an audition winner that has no obstacles between them and enlistment. Having gone through the process, it is a bit unnerving to dive into the military world without any previous experience with it. This is one main distinction of taking a military band audition versus a symphony orchestra audition—you are not potentially joining just the musical organization but the respective Armed Service as well.
The West Point Band has another tradition of holding an auditionee dinner the night before audition day. This is an informal dinner where the candidates have the chance to interact with a couple members of the band, just to socialize, and even to have questions answered about the job and what life is like in the band. I remember being strangely anxious about this, but it proved to be an enjoyable time and I learned that the members of the band were normal people. The morning of the audition, we were picked up by one of the band’s clarinetists and driven from nearby Newburgh to West Point to warm-up for the day. At this point I was already shell-shocked by the stunning beauty of the Hudson Valley as well as the brutal cold of a February morning in the northeast, but that didn’t get in the way of my ritual intake of morning coffee. (Caffeine was something I wasn’t quite willing to give up as part of my audition preparation.)
Once we made it to the band building, we drew our audition numbers and were given warm-up rooms, along with the excerpt list for the first round. I went through my usual warm-up, but didn’t overexert myself so I had plenty of energy left to play a strong audition. I would need it, as I ended up playing the entire first round list from top to bottom. In many auditions, there is simply not enough time for the committee to hear every candidate play all the prepared material, but having only a select few auditioning, the committee here was able to hear more from each individual. The first round was played to a black screen set up between the player and the committee to ensure anonymity. The screen came down for our second round, which we played following lunch with some members of the band. We again played the full list of required music, answered some questions asked by the panel, and then a one-on-one chat with the band’s senior enlisted leader. (Another portion of the audition the West Point Band has since added is a marching demonstration for the panel. Marching with instruments is a huge part of the job here, after all.)
After all of that, the nervous waiting period I described earlier took place as I pondered whether or not my life was about to change in a pretty drastic way. It was a mixed emotion winning the audition. On one hand I was suddenly met with the reality of enlisting and going through the process of basic training, but on the other hand so very relieved and excited to have secured a playing job with such a great organization.
On Saturday, January 31, members of the band, myself included, had a chance to work with students from the Harmony Program at the United Palace of Cultural Arts in Harlem. The Harmony Program is a nonprofit organization that brings intensive after-school music programs to communities with limited access to instrumental music education. It is closely modeled after the wildly successful, El Sistema in Venezuela. This day of education and performances was made even more special by the involvement of members of the New York Philharmonic.
The students we worked with were from all over New York City, some from Harlem, some from Queens, and still others from Brooklyn. As is common in New York City, they represented a huge range of ethnicities and cultures. They had been working with their regular Harmony Program teachers on the music we performed together for several weeks before we worked together. When we arrived, the students were already in a massed wind and brass sectional led by one of the NY Philharmonic’s resident conductors, Michael Adelson.
After their massed sectional, each band member on site took their respective sections to work with them in a more personal setting. I spent an hour or so coaching six clarinetists from all over the city. We spent time working of course, on the music, but also on the fundamentals that are so vital in playing a musical instrument at a high level. The students were curious and attentive. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them.
Normally, a mass sectional and an individual instrument sectional would be quite a lot for a day, especially when you add a concert at the end of the day for the kids. The Harmony Program wanted the students to have exposure to the very best coaches available, so they arranged to have members of the NY Philharmonic give masterclasses during the day as well.
The coach for the clarinets was Alcides Rodriguez. He is currently serving as the bass clarinetist in the philharmonic. Among all of the coaches in Harlem that day, Alcides has the unique experience of being a former student of el Sistema in Venezuela. He came to the U.S. in 1999 with only a clarinet and a suitcase, and not knowing how to speak English. Alcides was tough with the kids in a way that they may not have been accustomed to. He knew that they were capable of more; more attention, more sound, more expression, better intonation, and he refused to settle for anything other than their best. The students responded well once they understood that he meant business.
Following the coaching, there was a brief rehearsal on the stage with the full orchestra, followed by a concert for the massed friends, family, and general public that had come to hear the product of so much work. The repertoire for the day was Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia and the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Symphony Number 1. It’s tough to know what a group of middle school age kids are going to think of music by Brahms and Sibelius. It’s easy to think that this music is so far removed from today’s culture, that there is no way these kids will ever connect with this music. Seeing the look of accomplishment on the faces of the kids after the concert makes you rethink the notion that classical music has no place in today’s culture. It was inspiring to work with these kids, and we look forward to many more collaborations in the future.
Words by Sgt. 1st Class Sam Kaestner
Images by 1st Lieutenant Darrin Thiriot
By Staff Sgt. Phil Stehly
Photos by Staff Sgt. Chrissy Rivers
Florida: home of Disney World, delicious oranges, early bird specials, and in one week, the West Point Band.
That’s right. From November 14-17, the West Point Band will be performing in Sarasota, Florida. You gotta love Florida. My wife and I talk about becoming snowbirds down there many, many years from now. Every time I go to the Sunshine State, I am blown away. I’m not sure if it’s the driver-friendly roads or beautiful weather, but Florida and I get along famously.
But enough about me. Back to the West Point Band’s trip.
There’s a lot on the docket, including a National Cemetery dedication and performance at Patriot Plaza in Sarasota. The event will feature a variety of hosts and speeches, including best-selling author Wes Moore. Another highlight will be nationally renowned Abraham Lincoln portrayer Michael Krebs reading the words of our 16th President. The West Point Band will provide the music befitting the ceremony. It should be a meaningful and memorable performance.
Also on the agenda: educational outreach! Members of the West Point Band will share their expertise with clinics provided at a local high school.
In addition to the ceremony and clinics, the band will also perform a community concert in Sarasota at Patriot Plaza. (9810 State Road in Sarasota.) The performance will pay tribute to the nation’s veterans as only the West Point Band can do. It will mark the first public performance at Sarasota National Cemetery’s new ceremonial amphitheater. It’ll be a fun program. Selections include Midway March, Songs of the Soldier Overture, In the Mood, and a medley of Andrews Sisters tunes. For more information on the concert, visit the West Point Band Community Concert section of www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/veteranslegacysummit.
The trip will showcase the versatility of the West Point Band—one performance, the musicians sit down and play a concert of world-class classical music. The next day the band will provide ceremonial music in a sharp display of military bearing and tradition. You’ll have to trust me when I say very few musical organizations, if any, are capable of doing so many things so well as the West Point Band. (Perhaps I’m biased, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!)
Make way for the West Point Band, Florida. We’ll be there soon.
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Finally, after years of work, we were nearing the conclusion of the concert. Two great nations had shared the stage in concert once again. With the Bernstein complete, it was on to the jazz tunes. Judging by the number of jazz clubs I saw around Tokyo, jazz seems to be much more popular in Japan than in the place of its birth, and it was clear that the audience was excited to hear two great American jazz musicians perform in concert.
First up was Caravan. Sgt. 1st Class John Castleman, Staff Sgt. Alexis Cole, and the Central Band’s English horn player came to the front of stage to engage in a free dialogue between musicians. All three played off of one another, drawing inspiration from whatever came from each musician.
After the introduction, it was time for John and Alexis to shine on their own. Alexis held the audience in rapt attention as she sang the melody using only sounds, not words, and then took a scat solo. She drew on her training in Indian classical singing to add an exotic flair to her performance. After Alexis finished, it was time for John to play his solo. The band members already knew what the audience was about to listen to, and I couldn’t help but notice a few smiles, as all on stage knew that the audience was in for a treat. John did not disappoint, thrilling the audience as he played complex lines and leapt up to the top of the trumpet’s range.
Next, Alexis spoke to the audience in Japanese for a bit, something they certainly did not expect. Throughout the concert, the Japanese audience had been deafeningly quiet, without coughing, or unwrapping hard candy, or any of the other noises that filter through concert halls in America. Once Alexis spoke, they finally relaxed and even shared a laugh. With the audience at ease, the band dove into Fly Me to the Moon. Things had come a long way since the first rehearsal; the band sounded really tight, and fed off of the energy from the crowd to inject even more life into their playing. Alexis’ deep, haunting voice filled the hall, and the audience was blown away by her singing. John even had a brief solo in the middle of the tune, and he of course wowed the crowd and ensemble alike.
The concert closed with Les Deux Belles Aires. The piece is a sort of Latin big band chart from the 70s arranged for concert band with an absurd injection of energy. The piece is really impressive to listen to, and is a real crowd pleaser. The audience roared with applause at the conclusion of the concert, and the band had no choice but to play The Stars and Stripes Forever as an encore. Lt. Col. Keene conducted, and as he always does, got the reserved Japanese audience to clap along with vim and vigor.
Finally the concert came to a close. There were many rounds of applause from the grateful audience. What was displayed on stage was not just a concert with some American guest musicians, but a true partnership among nations. Military bands make the best possible emissaries of all nations, because no matter the language barrier, we can always play great music together. The stay was one I will never forget. We made wonderful friends with the Japanese musicians, and hope that we can share the stage again soon.
Words and images by Sgt. 1st Class Sam Kaestner
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As nearly everything in Japan does, the concert began exactly on time with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner followed by Kimigayo, the Japanese National Anthem. The first piece on the program was Frank Tichelli’s arrangement of Shenandoah. It begins reverently, and then slowly grows to a glorious and dramatic climax. The band pulled out all the stops, and gave a truly stirring performance.
One of the highlights of the performance was Rhapsody for Band. The piece, conducted by Col. Takeda, uses quite a lot of traditional Japanese percussion instruments. Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Eby had the challenge of playing a very large percussion solo on the hyoshigi, an instrument that he had never played prior to coming to Japan. He did splendidly in performance, though I know he was quite nervous.
The final piece on the first half was Dance Folatre by American composer, Claude T. Smith. He is known for writing wind band works that are challenging to play, and Dance Folatre was no exception. Col. Takeda conducted the piece at a tempo that is best described as mach schnell. It forced the musicians beyond their comfort zones and onto the edge of their seats. The piece is full of effervescence and joie de vivre, and those feelings came across in the performance. There was also quite a bit of nervous energy as Col. Takeda pushed the ensemble to the redline as far as tempo is concerned. It brought about a tremendous amount of excitement for the audience, and they showed their appreciation with generous applause.
Following intermission, Lt. Col. Keene took the podium again to conduct selections from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, arranged for band by Sgt. Maj. Douglas Richard. The work drew heavily on the talents of two soloists from the central band. In the first movement, there is a very large trombone solo. It is fortunate that the Central Band has one of the finest trombone sections I have ever heard. The solo was played with elegance and dignity and was a joy to listen to.
The second movement has a really big flute solo that is meant to be played by a performer standing outside of the ensemble. One of the Central Band’s flutists stood behind and above the band, in the choir loft behind the stage. Japan has a deep history of traditional flute playing. It is an instrument that the Japanese have been playing in some form or another for thousands of years. Somehow, that history is evident in the flute players in the Central Band. The slow solo in the Bernstein was profound, beautiful, and effortless.
The rest of the piece grows to an exciting, mixed meter conclusion that is reminiscent of West Side Story. Since the West Point Band created the arrangement, I’m sure nobody at the concert had ever heard it prior to that day. But once they heard it, they loved it. The audience roared with applause after the piece was finished.
Check back soon for the rest of our adventures with the Japanese Central Band.