Bands combine for first time

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    By Courtney Lyle

    BYU”s Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band played to a different tune when they combined Wednesday to have a concert together.

    “This is the first year we”ve done this,” said David Blackinton, director of Wind Symphony. “We”ll see if we can generate more enthusiasm from the audience by combining.”

    Instruments filled the stage and patrons filled the audience for the concert, but as the bands combined and got bigger, the audience got shorter and younger.

    About 180 sixth and seventh grade band students from Payson Middle School came to watch the concert. Most of these middle school students came prepared for the concert. Before the concert their teacher taught them the background of the pieces they would hear. Many of these students are in beginning band and the concert allowed them to see what could be done with the instruments they play.

    “I think it”s an awesome opportunity for the kids,” said Janelle Kane who plays clarinet in Symphonic Band. “That”s something I didn”t get to do when I was that age. It gives them a goal to shoot for.”

    Payson Middle School band teacher, Emily Smith, said she was grateful for this unique opportunity to hear both bands play. She tries to bring the students to a concert every year, and last year they had to choose between which of the band concerts to attend. Now they get to hear both bands in one concert.

    “We take the kids so they can hear what a college band sounds like and what to aim for,” Smith said. “They get inspired when they see it, and inspired for their own concert that they have coming up in a month.”

    Combining the groups for the concert also gave both bands an opportunity to hear each other perform.

    “I think it”s neat to team together with the other band,” Kane said.

    The Symphonic Band, the larger of the two bands, played first at the concert and the Wind Symphony, the international touring band followed.

    Many of the students in these bands are also in the marching band, but playing in a concert like this allows them to focus more on the music and the specialized side of things, rather than just the songs played at the football games.

    “These are some of the same students doing more technical things,” said Donald Peterson, director of Symphonic Band.

    Although this was the first time the bands played together, it will not be the last. The bands plan on pulling out their instruments and combining again for another concert together on Dec. 1. The music they will play at this concert will be on a different note as they play for the upcoming holiday.

    “In this concert we were able to play all different eras of music,” Kane said. “In December we play more Christmas music.”

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