Wind Department Concert

Thursday 14th December 2023

In one last musical hurrah of what has been an incredibly busy Michaelmas Term, the Wind Department produced a fun and action-packed concert to the delight of an enthusiastic Memorial Hall audience. Actually, the title ‘Wind Department’ is somewhat misleading, in so much as it is so much more, namely, Wind, Brass & Percussion, and, in the case of Monday night, a splash of comedy too.

Master of ceremonies was Mr Alex Arkwright, guiding the audience through the evening with a mixture of humour and energy, which the performers clearly appreciated.

Big Band opened proceedings with plenty of sparkle, tight rhythm, and some impressive solos from band members, before the flute trio shone in a change of mood with Burleske by Karl Rorich. Two junior ensembles with great potential then followed (Jazz Ensemble and Junior Percussion) to give a glimpse of what we can expect from that cohort in the future, before the Saxophone Quartet once again produced a performance of finesse and colour (this was their fifth outing of the term in one form or another with this work).

Then came the comedy moment and it was worth it. Brasser ended the concert with a performance of three pieces, the first of them being Snakes by Thomas Duffy. It’s a clever piece and utilises extended techniques including some vocal contributions from the players. Towards the end, there is a unanimous shout of ‘Snakes’. For some reason best known to the players, this descended into mild chaos as a lead member decided to shout ‘Snakes’ in the wrong place, whereupon it set a cat amongst the pigeons (or should I say a wolverine amongst the snakes), and the unanimous exclamation never happened. Well it did actually, because the effervescent Mr Arkwright decided to repeat the final section to ensure we didn’t miss out.

All good fun, a great concert, and a fitting conclusion to an exceptional term of music making.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director
X: @MCol_Music

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