Greek Concert Weekend

I had the opportunity this weekend to participate in two concerts organized by the fraternities and sororities on campus. On Friday night, the three music organizations (the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha, the sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota, and the brothers and sisters of Tau Beta Sigma) performed in the first annual joint-concert between the three organizations. A joint-concert has been attempted before, and talked about many times, but finally thanks to the organization and dedication of some members of each organization, the three groups finally combined to do a concert, which included solo vocal acts, a trumpet sextet, larger vocal ensembles, a few low brass solo acts, and a jazz band.

The jazz band was comprised of mostly members of Tau Beta Sigma (the co-ed honorary service sorority that I am a part of), and is a very similar group to the one that I organized for TBS’s Fall Showcase. We performed a jazz ballad version of the traditional Irish song “Danny Boy.” The Paul Clark arrangement came off really well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it! I also had the opportunity to perform with the trumpet sextet, who played the Star Spangled Banner and a short arrangement of Loch Lomond. For those of you on Facebook, you may be able to see a short video of Loch Lomond here. Finally, I performed the Tau Beta Sigma Loyalty Song with the brothers and sisters of TBS. All in all, the joint-concert went extremely well, and everyone who attended enjoyed the concert!

Conveniently enough, TBS’s 3rd Annual Spring Showcase was the following day! The TBS showcase, which was similar programatically to the joint-concert, included a solo tuba act, some vocal acts, the jazz band, and even a performance of Trumpet Voluntary on… you guessed it… a recorder! I performed in the jazz band again; we opened this concert with a shortened version of the “Family Guy” theme song, and performed another Paul Clark work, this time an original composition, entitled “Baby Drives a Fast Car.” We also performed the Loyalty Song at showcase. The showcase this spring was a part of a TBS initiative to help local boy scouts get their music merit badge, so in addition to being attended by family and friends of the sorority, we had 15 6th/7th-grade boy scouts at the concert!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the jazz band that performed this weekend. In addition to being a great opportunity to play jazz, this band has helped me get an opportunity to work on my rehearsal skills with jazz bands, and I appreciate the patience of each and every person in the band as I worked with them. The members of the jazz band included saxophones Frankie Pereda, Chris Walker (also a Membership Candidate for TBS), Jackie Kraus, and Jessica Kirsner, trombones Luke Cramer (a brother of PMA), Nicholas Heilman, Raquel Shifrin, and Marissa Wites, trumpets Rachel Hanusa, Chris Kumetz, and Kevin Mazzarella, and the rhythm section of Michael Heilman (drums), Dan Wager (bass), and Andrew DeVine (piano). Andrew also was the person behind the fantastic arrangement of the “Family Guy” theme song.

As I perform in all the formal end-of-semester concerts with the School of Music ensembles, it’s nice to take a step back every so often and perform in a more informal setting. The concerts this weekend were a great opportunity to do that, and I really enjoyed each and every act. Congratulations to those who performed, and thanks to all who attended!

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