Canadian Brass

Those of you who watched the Amazing Grace video I posted have already experienced the magnificent skills of these guys, but the Canadian Brass never fails to deliver. They have the most impressive and highly honed musicianship that I have ever seen. The tuba player even plays Flight of the Bumblebee. It’s ridiculous. Check it out.

V for Vendetta

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” – V

In a gripping tale of romance, treason, and action, V for Vendetta reveals a world that is strikingly reminiscent of our own. V for Vendetta warns society of the dangers in blindly giving up their liberty for protection from a governing body. The only thing as incredible as the plot and theme is the music.

The film weaves into its plot a few famous pieces: Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (and Yakety Sax, if you so please). On top of that, Dario Marianelli has done some very clever major/minor theme changes I quite enjoyed while watching the film. A bit reminiscent of Beethoven, actually.

For example, during this speech, the subject of the speech is well mirrored by the music that accompanies it.

Taken directly from the soundtrack. Listen for more of the major/minor changes in the beginning.

Area All-State

Above is one of the pieces that the Area All-State band played at its concert (for the lack of a better recording). Along with Der Traum des Oenghus, we performed Jump Start (by a local composer), Cantos, and Fiesta.

For those of you that don’t know, Area All-State is an event hosted by NYSSMA every year. It gathers the best players from nearby schools, throws them together with a guest conductor, and makes them perform a concert after a day and a half of rehearsal. Sounds pretty tough, and I’ll be honest, it really is. Each and every one of us are fully exhausted by the end of the concert. But in the end, you’ve made a whole bunch of new friends, and spent almost two full days playing cool, new music. I think that’s worth the effort.

This year, our guest conductor was Cynthia Johnston Turner, director of bands at Cornell University. I quite enjoyed having her as conductor, as she was a lot of fun throughout the whole event. More importantly, she knew how to make a band sound better, which is kind of important if you only have a day and a half of rehearsals.

Big shout out to everyone in the band, choir, and orchestra. (Especially the orchestra, the concert was great!)