ICYMI: Spring Band Show
March 15, 2016
Palmetto’s musicians congregated onstage on Mar. 10, 2016 to communicate through the language of music.
Musical numbers varied from symphonic to jazz genres, featuring the occasional guest performer, in a wide array of musical styles with unique historical backgrounds under the instruction of Band Director and conductor, Kennan Torgenson.
The symphonic band took the stage for the first half of the concert until intermission with Torgenson providing a brief explanation of the historical significance of each carefully-chosen composition. Torgenson was not the only one to lead the musicians in song; a guest elementary-school student conducted a symphonic composition as well.
The ensuing fifteen-minute intermission left parents and peers to mingle and purchase concessions while the musicians busied themselves backstage–practicing, joking or munching on a snack before reassembling onstage. The four Palmetto Elementary School student performers spent the short break perfecting their playing techniques and lubricating their instruments’ valves.
The remainder of the concert featured the nostalgic jazz tunes of the twentieth century, including iconic tunes such as Puente’s “Oye Como Va,” Kosma’s “Autumn Leaves” and Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” They transported listeners to the back corners of underground speakeasies in Chicago, varying from contemporary sounds, using the electric guitar, to the more traditional, blowing life into the saxophones and trombones of centuries passed, pounding heartbeats into the soul of a drum and strumming sonorous notes from a deep-bellied cello in a synesthetic feat.
All contributed to the undeniable air of romance produced from fluctuations in keys and octaves. The crisp suits, dresses and shiny surfaces evoke the aura of a time passed, when couples swayed to the stream of elegant notes that flowed from musicians’ instruments.
Among the most rewarding aspects of attending the concert was witnessing the work of an all-composed, all-concentrated and all-passionate group submersed in their own world of making harmonies while relishing in the spotlight. Dimpled smirks hid behind mouthpieces; pulsating fingers danced along gleaming surfaces; black laces failed to restrain the toe-tapping, black-clad feet from keeping rhythm in a collective passion for the music they create.
They say that practice makes perfect, but their love of the art is what keeps them sounding like professionals each performance, an area of expertise unexpected from such young musicians. It is not often that a saxophone solo seems to tell a story; the musician, its vehicle. Within the walls of a building oblivious to the beauty of each composition, the pupils of music-making communicated to their audience with sound.