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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Symphonic Winds stuns the crowd with their performance and tribute to a galaxy far far away

Iconic music from a galaxy far far away along with beautiful compositions of band music were played for the attendees that gathered inside the Fullerton College Campus Theatre for a special night.

The Symphonic Winds concert event took place on Thursday May 4. Tony Mazzaferro, director of the Fullerton College Music Division, opened the musical event at 7:30 p.m.

“We have quite an array of music for you all this evening,” Mazzaferro exclaimed. The ensemble played a total of nine compositions, which were conducted by three different directors including Mazzaferro himself.

Musicians cape
Anthony Mazzaferro mentions to the audience that it's appropriate for ensemble members to wear capes for the Symphonic Winds performance at the Fullerton College Campus Theatre on Thursday, May 4. Photo credit: Aaron Untiveros

Symphonic Winds started out the night with a compelling performance titled “McBeth: A Celebratory Fanfare and Hymn” by Stephen Hill, a local composer.

Hill praised their performance of his piece after the concert. He worked with the members of the Symphonic Winds ensemble during Spring Break to ensure his vision for the song was brought to life.

The second piece, “Prelude and Rondo” written by David Holsinger, was directed by Emmanuel Arredondo, a student conductor at Fullerton College. Arredondo not only plays the saxophone, but the clarinet as well.

The concert then transitioned into a concerto with the piece entitled “Prelude, Allegro Moderato”, which featured a bass tuba. Dustin Gutierrez took the spotlight with his inspiring tuba performance.

Concerto for Bass Tuba
Dustin Gutierrez, bass tuba player, takes the spotlight with a staggering performance during a piece titled "I. Prelude, Allegro Moderato". Photo credit: Aaron Untiveros

A John Mackey Suite shortly followed giving the audience an idea of Mackey’s overall musical style. Mackey is a leading composer of concert music in America.

The suite began with “Lightning Field”, which started off pretty quietly, but got as loud as lightning at some points.

Guest conductor John Zarco, a director of bands at the University of Texas, San Antonio, took to the stage, replacing Mazzaferro for the next piece. “Sheltering Sky” started ever so softly, as musicians really took their time to get louder.

Without warning, “Undertow” suddenly began almost thunderous as soon as Mazzaferro got back on stage to conduct. The xylophone in the back kept the beat strong throughout the piece and helped keep band together.

The mood of the concert shifted to a more peaceful composition titled “Dum Spiro Spero” (Latin for “while I breathe, I hope). Zarco returned to conduct the beautiful new composition by Chris Pilsner.

Next was a lively upbeat song titled “Arabian Dances” and was composed by Brian Balmages. It is a composition based on Arabian Folk Songs and made a lively performance.

It starts off with a single flute playing a majestic verse. Further along, the flutist is joined by more woodwinds such as piccolo and clarinet. The song transported the audience to the Arabian world as the intensity grew.

To end the night, a piece from the renowned film composer John Williams was performed and was a hit with the audience.

The piece, titled “Star Wars Heroes”, included popular songs from the Star Wars trilogies, such as the intro and the ceremony. The performance successfully satisfied the craving of the audience for the occasion.

This tribute was appropriate since May 4 is not only the date, but a nod to the popular Star Wars reference “May the force be with you”.

Standing Musicians
Symphonic Winds members stand up after performing "Lightning Field" composed by John Mackey on Thursday, May 4. Photo credit: Aaron Untiveros

“We put a lot of effort into it to have a good concert” said Leah Alvarez, a bass clarinet player in the Symphonic Winds. “Music means a lot to me and being on stage is an honor”.

For more Information on Symphonic Winds and tickets for future concerts, you can visit the music department website.

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