By Ilyana Zambrana
FSCJ’s Symphonic Band held its traditional Fall “Pops” Concert on Oct. 9 in the Wilson Center for the Arts. The free public event featured a diverse list of well-known pieces from cinema, theater and the classical greats. Students, faculty, friends and relatives were present in support of the first concert to kick off this year’s FSCJ instrumental program. Several notable individuals, including South Campus president Dr. Margarita Cabral-Malay, were in the crowd to witness the performances.
For the first time the Symphonic Band mingled high school and college students. Each band member created a beautiful performance suffused with a crisp, fall energy. “The program has improved a lot since I came back. A few old players and new players have really made playing fun again,” said Edwin Hernandez, a fourth-year band member.
Each musical piece carried a unique style. The arrangements ranged from contemporary to classic, with relateble sounds and themes. “We’re starting again fresh, playing music students are going to be more familiar with,” said Dr. Paul Weikle, Director of Bands and Professor of Music at FSCJ.
Pieces such as “Bond…James Bond” brought scenes from the motion picture to life, and instantly became an audience favorite. Other selections, such as “Thunder and Lightning,” expressed the buoyant harmony of early autumn. The middle of the evening was punctuated with a tremendous performance of “The Impossible Dream,” complete with superb vocals by Guest Soloist J. Hansford Joiner.
“I was familiar with some of the pieces, and others were new, but it was a really good mix of music,” exclaimed UNF student and audience member Taylor Lamendola. One song would have the audience relaxed, and another would have them out of their seats humming and dancing.
Through extensive work and preparation students conveyed success. Nine rehearsals occurred between the start of fall semester and the concert. “The time spent practicing and playing in this show was fun. It’s getting all of us ready to play more technical literature at the next concert in December,” remarked Cody Hampton, a second-year member of the band. The show proved to be a great time for everyone involved. “It’s been terrific,” said Weikle, recollecting the time spent working with his students in the lead-up to the concert.