Manchester University
Oak Leaves

March 4, 2016

TAKE A STAND Assistant Professor of Music Scott Humphries leads rehearsal for the mid-winter concert "Travels." Photo by Savannah Riley

Travel across USA with Music of Many Genres

Caitlin Doyle

Travel the United States tonight with the symphonic band and jazz ensemble as they showcase several pieces from across our culture. At 7:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium, the Mid-Winter concert entitled ‘Travels’ will welcome guests with rhythms and tunes that capture the essence of diversity in America. The musicians will show guests the United States through music that defines particular regions. The styles of the pieces vary greatly. From jazz to rock’n’roll and even a little hoedown music, this concert covers the types of music that you would expect to hear on a cross-country road trip.

One of the pieces is called “Metroplex: Three Postcards from Manhattan.” It gives three flashes of Manhattan life set to music. It starts at the New York skyline, then moves to a jazz club in Harlem, travels in a wild cab ride throughout traffic and ends again with the skyline. “My favorite of the pieces is Metroplex because I love how it takes you through the city of Manhattan, showing each of the aspects of city life in a musical format,” said Elizabeth Boettner, a flutist and sophomore double majoring in environmental studies and biology. “The part I especially enjoy playing is the "second postcard" (the jazz scene) because it feels so easy-going.  It makes me feel like I'm actually stepping foot into a New York jazz club.” Although this is Boettner’s favorite piece, she and Director Scott Humphries both think that it has been the most difficult of the pieces to practice.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Education, Scott Humphries, said the theme for this concert was a coincidence that occurred while the band was still deciding on pieces to perform. “It turned out that the major pieces that we were playing had some kind of connection to a particular part of the country,” he said. “A lot of times that happens: I pick the literature and a theme kind of evolves out of that.” Humphries explained that it is typical for one main feature piece to depict the theme. However, tonight’s show has the theme showcased throughout.

Another highlight of the evening will be the Fort Wayne Flute Choir joining the concert with their own piece. They will be performing a piece called “Appalachian Suite,” that pays homage to the geographical region. This is another of the diverse contributions to be heard and seen throughout the concert. Another piece chosen for the concert tonight is “Circus Days,” which has connects to the summer tradition in Peru, Ind.,––the Circus City Festival. Just a few miles west of North Manchester, Peru is known for its amateur circus and this cultural highlight gives the concert more amusing depth. 

Humphries says that the bands are ready for tonight. “Most of it was ready last Friday and on Monday it really started coming together," he said. “You want to peak about a week to a week and a half before the concert.”