Posted at 1 p.m., Nov. 23, 2015

Ensembles prepare for winter concert

Concert started forDec. 7

Daniel Martinez

Music begins:

Performers practice on campus for a performance at Mark's Episcopal Church Dec. 7.


Laramie County Community College’s upcoming Winter Concert will start at 7 p.m., Dec. 7, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The ensemble will feature music performed by four of LCCC’s ensembles: The wind symphony and the jazz ensemble, directed by Instrumental Music Instructor, Dr. Erin Bauer, and the Collegiate Chorale and Cantorai directed by Choral Music Instructor Beth Kean.

Presenting the pieces

With the use of woodwind and brass instruments, Bauer’s wind symphony will play popular classical and modern pieces such as Bach’s “Prelude and Gloria” and “Bayou Breakdown,” and the jazz ensemble will perform more modern pieces like the funk piece “Fish and Grits” and Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” with the use of drums, guitars, piano, saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Both will also play various Christmas music as well.

For the Collegiate Chorale and Cantorai, Kean chose “How Can I Keep From Singing” and “All My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose” along with more spiritual music like “O’Nata Lux,” meaning “Oh Night of Light in Latin;” “Daemon Irrepit Callidus,” meaning “The Devil Speaks Expertly,” and will close with “Hope For Resolution,” which is a combination of two Gregorian chant-like melodies with African Swahili text. Kean selected the music with the idea of taking the perils of the world and turning them into more of a positive message.

“We try to have a set of music that has a lot of contrast,” Bauer said about choosing music that was not only popular and classical but was fun and challenging.

potential issues

Some challenges that came about are that the instrumental ensembles currently don’t have large numbers of students, which makes performing difficult because certain band settings such as the wind symphony and jazz ensemble require a certain number of instruments per part. To fix that, community members came to help and participate with students in Bauer’s ensembles.

“We have a lot of ability levels of experience,” Bauer said, adding that she tried to find programs that not only work for everyone as a whole but challenged everyone to get out of their comfort zone and perform pieces that were more advanced.

“A concert should provide interest and challenges for different instrumentalists,” she said.

Kean added that her choral ensembles were challenged with similarities in structuring the music and the people.

“You need to make sure you are pretty well balanced,” she said about choosing pieces of music that do not split from one another but can also provide an opportunity for rearrangement, especially with having community members work with students, which Kean was excited to see happen. “It’s really important for the students to see that music can live on past college, and that people outside of campus are excited and as dedicated.”

Besides being a difficult time for instructors Bauer and Kean to structure their ensembles and find pieces to play, it was a way to challenge students.

When Kean provided “Daemon Irrepit Callidus” to the Collegiate Chorale, she saw they were worried at first but have been working hard at performing it. “It’s a wonderful piece, and they are really enjoying it,” she said.

Similar with the instrumental ensembles, when Bauer provided Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” and “Bayou Breakdown,” she found that providing challenging pieces made people work hard until it sounded just right. “There’s a sense of pride in being able to put that together and perform that.”

Even with challenges in creating their ensembles, Bauer and Kean both agree that when the performance comes along, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is the perfect place to be. Typically used in the past for LCCC music ensembles, St. Mark’s provides not only the right amount of acoustics but a beautiful space. “For a holiday concert like this, it’s a nice place to go and be,” Kean said.

As St. Mark’s will showcase the event, Bauer and Kean hope the performance will show the community and, specifically students, the power of music.

Seeing the arts as a large part of any community, Kean also thinks that as students and the community show interest in the event, younger audiences will have a change of mind and want to learn and participate in music early in their lives. Bauer agrees, viewing it as a great opportunity “to see students in a performance setting and being able to see them in the things they really love to do.”

The concert will be free and donations will be accepted to the COMEA Shelter.

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Songs of Winter

Playlist for upcoming ensemble concert

Collegiate Chorale:

Jazz Ensemble: