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Dec. 20, 2004

Blair Winter Concert is filled with cheer

by Diana Frey, Page Editor
Blair's Instrumental Music Winter Concert, held on Thursday night on Dec. 16, set the mood for the holiday season with its classy and wintery sounding pieces. Conducted by Band Director Dustin Doyle, every performance was on the money and enjoyable, and the professionalism of all students involved proved to be impressive.
Dusting Doyle, left, conducts the Symphonic Band during the Insrumental Music Winter Concert. Diana Frey
Dusting Doyle, left, conducts the Symphonic Band during the Insrumental Music Winter Concert.

The Jazz Band began the night by living up to its name with its upbeat jazz. Trumpet soloist Ben Lutz really set the high level of play for everyone who followed the rest of the night. Opening a show is never easy, but the Jazz Band played confidently, setting the musical mood.

Concert Band, made up of primarily ninth and tenth graders, started out timidly but rose to a more mature level in no time and had good flow, percussion and pitch. By the end of the pieces, Doyle was impressed with the band's success. "We're looking to challenge them with tougher stuff soon," Doyle told the audience. He also said that Concert Band is important because that is where many band members build their fundamentals.

The Symphonic Band continued the night with a mostly Christmas theme with an eerie but beautiful-sounding Russian song and the traditional First Noel, which was playful but clean sounding. The highlight of their performance was junior Emma Zachurski, who played a powerful solo on the english horn.

The Orchestra was a pleasant change from the bands to strings. They had a smooth concise sound, which vibrated up the aisles of the audience. It is mind-boggling to watch people's fingers move so fast, but the string players made it look as easy as riding a bike.

Honors Jazz Band created a grand finale indeed with a mesmerizing performance. Their faces became red with effort towards the flawless production. The Honors Jazz Band was so confident that they barely needed conducting, and Doyle himself looked like he wanted to dance along as auditorium echoed with wonderful sounds. The exiting song for the night after a two-and-a-half hour performance was so good that the audience barely budged.

Overall, the night was extremely successful, and seeing as how it's only December, Blair's instrumental music has even more potential for more performances to come.

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  • music dork on December 20, 2004 at 4:03 PM
    Emma played the solo in Russian Christmas Music was on english horn, not oboe.
  • Just a thought on December 20, 2004 at 7:31 PM
    While I believe this article was well written, it's description and critique of the music is somewhat general and inaccurate. Being someone who performed in the concert as well as heard other groups, I disagree with many of these comments. Terms like pitch or "good flow" to describe the groups, are thrown around casually and it seems to me from reading the whole article that the author is not a musician. It is confusing to say that a piece is "playful but clean sounding" because a playful piece does not foreshadow a messy one. I also find it unfair to a group involving many members who have all put in time and effort, to credit one artist with the highlight of a performance. Like I said, the article is not poorly written from a non-musician perspective, yet if the author wishes to critique the music, they might want to research the terms first, or know more about them.
  • musician on December 20, 2004 at 8:53 PM
    Thanks go out to Chips for covering an instrumental music event. All too often it seems that they are overlooked.
  • Musician on December 20, 2004 at 10:07 PM
    I agree, this article was well written, but if the author wanted to sound like they knew something, they should have made an effort to know what the terms mean. I have to disagree that concert band had good percussion, and while Emma's solo was very good, the highlight of Russian Christmas Music was the percussion. I know I sound like a music dork, but the article really should have been written by someone who had a better understanding of what happened.

    I am very happy that someone actually wrote an article about it though.
  • Jazz on December 21, 2004 at 8:15 AM
    This comment follows along the lines of knowing more about music. Mr. Doyle did not conduct the jazz band because they were confident, he did not conduct because there are no conductors really for jazz. The idea behind a jazz band or group is that the member's take there cues from listening to each other. I'm sure the jazz band was confident in there playing, but not to an extent that they wouldn't need a conductor, or to listen to what they were playing. Perhaps the author didn't notice but jazz band B did not have a conductor either. But yeah, thanks for writing about the performance at all. :)
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on December 21, 2004 at 3:26 PM
    As someone who doesnt know an english horn from an english muffin, I liked the imagery, and understood the language, that I may have missed if it were mere specific with respect to the musical details.
  • Well whoop de doo on December 21, 2004 at 7:27 PM
    Good for you Michael Bushnell but you're not a musician so clearly technicalities about music wouldn't bother you.
  • Jazz A Tromboner on December 23, 2004 at 6:02 PM
    First I'd like to say thank you to Diana for writing this article.

    I know some other people here are commenting on how she's not a musician and all, but lighten up. The only person I'm currently aware of whose involved with music on Chips online is Luke, and he was playing with Honors Jazz so he couldn't have written the article. Besides, the majority of people who are going to read the article are probably not even going to understand the technicalities, so it's moot (except maybe for that English Horn distinction...)

    Also, I agree that Mr. Doyle not conducting jazz band had more to do with the nature of the music genre, but at the same time I have to disagree with part of Jazz's point.
    "I'm sure the jazz band was confident in there playing, but not to an extent that they wouldn't need a conductor, or to listen to what they were playing"
    Personally I think we were confident enough to not need a conductor (we grilled our backsides off for hours in order to whip that music into shape.) Plus band members listening to what they're playing is sort of just a given in any type of band and genre, or at least in the professional world.

    Once again I'd like to thank SCO for writing an article on the band concert :)
  • Chao on December 23, 2004 at 11:05 PM
    Emma played an English Horn solo. It's a instrument very different from the oboe! Emma had to borrow the English Horn from her teacher. The school couldn't even find one...
    I played oboe on that song. It was a fun part. I would have loved to have played English Horn, but I never played it before.
    Alfred Reed is an interesting composer.
    Jazz band do not have conductors. It's just the way it is.
    I agree also with the person who said this article needed someone who understood music to write it.
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on December 23, 2004 at 11:14 PM
    Yep, thats right. They wouldnt bother me. I'm glad you got that from my comment.
  • diana on January 5, 2005 at 1:14 PM
    I appologize for the instrument confusion. I went by the program.
  • SENIOR (View Email) on January 5, 2005 at 8:37 PM
    I would like to say that I enjoyed the concert very much. Especially with that girl who played the English Horn in the Symphonic Band. That's the band I will be in next semester. But I would like to give a couple of shout-outs: Josh, Andrea, Daniel & Jeana(Symphonic Band), Joyce(Orchestra), and my other people in Hon. Jazz Band. They were rockin'.
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