Live from Staples: CMU Wind Symphony and Symphony Band

Story and photos by Samantha Hall

The CMU Wind Symphony and Symphony Band performed a concert at the Staples Family Concert Hall in the Music Building on February 22 from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM. The event was free to the public and also streamed on Youtube .  

The event started with the Symphony Band with Director Christopher C. Chapman starting off the concert with “The Purple Carnival March” by Harry L. Alford. Graduate student conductors, CJ Russel and Eric Strasshofer, were introduced to lead the band in “Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo” by Malcolm Arnold, and “October” by Eric Whitacre. Lastly, Chapman returned to the stage to conduct “An Ellington Portrait” by Duke Ellington.  

“I like the variety of the songs…some were more upbeat and then some were more relaxed and chill…” says Maddie Poole, a student who had come to watch the concert with her friends Julia Ketelhut and Madelon Humphreys. Their friends agreed that “October” was their favorite song out of the whole concert.  

An intermission took place to prepare the Wind Symphony for the next half of the concert with James Earl Batcheller as the director who led the band after the break.  

Andrew Vinopal conducted the piece “Commando March” by Samuel Barber and “Ave Maria” by Franz Biebl.  

“I liked Ave Maria…I really liked how we incorporated the chimes, I thought that was really cool. We made some adjustments to highlight different sections throughout the band, so I thought that was really cool,” says Lauren Geates, a sophomore who played the bassoon in the band. The band had three separate chimes in different areas of the concert hall. Two near the back corners and one on the stage were meant to represent the sound of church bells all around. 

Lastly, Vinopal conducted “Second Suite in F for Military Band, Op. 28 No. 2” by Gustav Holst. The sections that were played from this piece were “March”, “Song Without Words”, “I’ll Love My Love”, “Song of the Blacksmith”, and “Fantasia on the Dargason”.  

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