The sound of horns, piccolos, flutes and all manner of wind instruments echoed off the wood and brick paneled walls of the Morrison Center this past Sunday, Nov. 4. The crowd of Boise State students, locals and faculty members were witness to a performance by Boise State’s own Wind Symphony.
Dressed in tuxedos and black finery, the symphony was conducted by Professor Marcellus B. Brown, director of the group and guest conductor, as well as current director of athletic bands and the Blue Thunder Marching Band, Joe Tornello.
The performance began with three-parts of Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in b-flat major, K. 361, Gran Partita.
When talking about the piece, junior engineering major Miguel Alvarado said, “I enjoy the feeling of meditation induced by the piece being neither happy or sad.”
Introducing the next piece, Melvin Shelton’s Elegy, Brown spoke briefly of the loss earlier this year of its composer.
Shelton was the director of bands, a professor of music at Boise State for 23 years as well as close friend to Brown and the rest of the music faculty.
Every concert performed by the music faculty this year will feature a piece composed by Shelton.
Elegy is a flowing piece with a somber tone which lent meaning to the dedication of the piece and reinforced the sentiment of Brown’s comments. The power of music was also highlighted by junior graphic design major Kiel Johnson.
Attending to witness a friend play, Johnson said, “While I might not be as cultured as everyone here I am really enjoying it.”
Musically educated or not, the performances at the Morrison Center are generally enjoyed by all according to Cathie Olson, a retired Boise citizen.
“Boise State always has nice performances, like this one they are always polished, crisp and well performed,” Olson said.
Olson, who has volunteered at the Morrison center for the past four years, gets free entry to three or four events a month and volunteers because of her love of music and theatre.
The final piece before intermission was Savannah River Holiday, conducted by Tornello.
The piece is a dramatic and fast moving piece written by Ron Nelson.
“It’s absolutely fabulous, I enjoy the energy and the ‘big’ sound, obviously it is very exciting to see my daughter play as well,” Kathy Banbrook said. Banbrook has been living in Boise for a year and relocated here when her daughter, Katie Banbrook, playing third clarinet, was awarded a music scholarship at Boise State.
The performance was closed by Brown conducting the symphony through two explosive and exuberant pieces.The first was John Mackey’s Redline Tango, which is themed around pushing a car to its limits is a a testament to the composing abilities of young people.
Professor Brown highlighted the fact, “Mackey is only 39-years-old and quite successful as well as wealthy.”
The final piece, Aerodynamics, composed by David Gillingham told the story of the Wright brothers and their quest for flight. The piece prominently features piano and its segments are dedicated to the building of a aircraft and eventual flight of the Wright brothers.
“The final pieces varied in intensity which created feelings and highlighted themes or stories, it was a good way to end,” said Alejandra Ornelas, a senior attending the concert for a music assignment.
The Boise State Symphonic Winds group usually performs twice a year at the Morrison Center.