A Colorful Collage Concert

The orchestra warmed up behind the curtain. A hush rushed over the crowd; some audience members searched for their seats. I sensed the house lights waiting to dim in anticipation for the concert of awesomeness that was about to take place. Tension was so high it had to be broken with fits of chuckles and laughs from the orchestra behind the curtain.

At last, masters of Ceremony Amanda Dulny and Joel Ochoa appeared. Throughout the concert, they would announce upcoming events for the groups in the School of Music, their smiles shining on us, a presumably stone-faced audience.

Finally, the curtain rose to reveal the Symphonic Ensemble. The concert was definitely off to a good start. It would almost have to be if one of the songs performed was a John Williams piece.

Then Tudor Voices arrived to serenade the audience with their songs. There’s at least one or more members that represent every Millikin choral ensemble. Together, they created rich harmonies, and their personalities radiated from their faces. Their performance even had me feeling the distant snowflakes that are sure to come at Christmastime with “No, No, Nigella.”

After they left the stage, the Chamber Orchestra, led by conductor Sergey Bogza, took their place on stage. In their piece “Csárdás,” the ensemble of strings set the scene while a clarinet soloist told a story. For most people, when they think of a clarinet player, they think Squidward Tentacles from “Spongebob,” but this soloist blew everyone away. He was practically waltzing as he was playing.       

The University Choir glided onto the stage risers in their regal splendor. As soon as sound erupted from their mouths in “Canticle of Praise,” I was already impressed. In hindsight, it isn’t that surprising. Dr. Brad Holmes’s choir meets every day of the week to perfect their sound.Even more impressive than their first song was their rendition of “Unclouded Day.” It seems soulful spiritual songs are being integrated in college choir repertoire, which in itself is a splendid thing. You got to give them credit for literally hitting the high notes on that one. Not only is this a choir ready for touring, but it’s also a choir to be proud of.

The curtain fell, and six music stands made their way on front. The rumbling of chairs indicated rolling thunder was approaching: a storm of percussion and jazz.

The Chamber Percussion Ensemble made their way to the stage to perform a six-triangle piece called “Escape.” The piece was made to accompany a 1938 experimental film, but it was a shame the film couldn’t be played for the concert. However, if this piece gives any indication, it would be a surreal experience indeed.

Who knew a triangle could have more dimensions than just its three sides? The sound comes from how you hold the instrument as well as how and where you hit it, too. Luckily, the percussionists, through weeks of practice and precision, managed to put together an amazing performance that culminated with the musicians throwing their triangles in the air and catching them the way they caught our attention.

Then in came One Voice, musical mic checks and all, charming everyone with their impressive musical range. Their harmonies rang as sweet as homemade honey in our ears, but their rendition of “Teach Me Tonight” was where they really brought down the house.

Last, and certainly not least, Jazz Band made their way to the stage. With their colorful sound from their brass instruments, they blew the roof off Kirkland. Stylistic to the very end, they sent Collage off with a literal bang.            Wait, did I say send off? I meant abruptly stop the music train. Collage didn’t end as much as it just stopped. In all fairness, though, it would be hard to top Jazz Band I.

Collage was quite a colorful musical experience. If this concert is any indication for how the rest of the year is going to go, I’d say, it’s going to be one heck of a good one.