UNO concert and university bands host first performance at Strauss


Jared Sindt

Concertgoers experienced the bands’ first performance of the semester last Thursday. Photo courtesy of Jared Sindt/The Gateway.

The UNO concert and university bands put on their first performance of the semester on Thursday, Sept. 30.

The students were required to have masks when not performing, and the university band started the performance at 7:30 p.m. with the concert band beginning at 8:10 p.m. The university band is a non-audition band, while for the concert band, all students must audition for their spot.

Both bands put on quite the spectacle — the university band did a great job of warming up the crowd for the concert band to take over. The university band performed three pieces, with the last one being a three-part song itself.

The concert band played seven pieces with three different conductors: Dr. Karen Fannin, Dr. Joshua Kearney and Graduate Assistant Ben Coatney.

They started with Mother of a Revolution, a fast-paced song with an upbeat feel to it that got the performance kicked off.

They followed up with a song called Home Away from Home, written for students who travel far distances to attend university. The song was slow, but majestic in nature, with a beautiful piano solo and epic crescendos that gave chills.

Their third song played was called Salvation is Created. This short song was conducted by an undergraduate student and was delivered with a slow and calming pace.

For the fourth song, the band was joined by the Heartland Marimba Quartet. The song had a fast-paced and booming start, with plenty of marimba solos throughout. It featured lots of call and response type play between the quartet and the band, before ultimately joining together for powerful verses and an exploding finish.

The quartet joined in on the fifth song as well, titled A Ragtime Medley for Marimba Quartet and Wind Ensemble. The song was fun and exciting, almost giving off a video game soundtrack feel. The song slowed down midway but picked up in the third act to give a quick finish.

An encore was then given by the quartet in which each member showcased their abilities with a very fast paced song. Its many crescendos and decrescendos gave the song a unique dynamic with a lighthearted, yet powerful finish.

The final song was the longest of the night and was performed only by the concert band with a saxophone solo and clarinet section highlight. The song started off so slowly that the audience was tricked into thinking it was over before the band drove into a quick and upbeat second act.

Unfortunately, the clarinet section highlight was seemingly overshadowed by either miscommunication on tempo or sections being louder than they should’ve. This didn’t entirely take away from the verse, however, with the audible parts being delivered beautifully by the section.

The song delivered on a powerful finish to end the night and earned a standing ovation from the audience.

Concertgoers were also given the opportunity to buy the quartet’s CDs outside the concert hall after the performance.

The band’s next performance will be Wednesday, Dec. 8. Dr. Fannin said that the band will be using a style and instrument of music that they haven’t used before to spice up the next concert.