On April 8th we had our spring gala concert, after several months of preparation. It was the culmination of several months of effort by well over 100 different people. There was a total of 21 groups and solos that performed, from classical to 80’s rock in genre. I partook in 2 ways, doing both concert band and backstage crew.
Concert band has been going since August of 2018, and the composition of the band has remained virtually the same. The music we played for spring gala was much more difficult than we played for the previous winter gala, and it was also more fun to play. The songs we played were called “Soul Bossa Nova” and the “Blues Brothers Revue”. They were quite challenging, but it was worth the efforts. I personally enjoyed the music played at spring gala far more than the one song we played at winter gala, as it really showcased our efforts and ability to grow as musicians.
Soul Bossa Nova was the easier of the two, as it was much shorter and had a consistent rhythm and melody. However, it still had some great parts, and a killer solo that I got to play about halfway through the song.
The Blues Brothers Review was very intimidating when we first got the music. Taking up 3 full pages, it has 4 distinct sections that vary greatly in tempo, rhythm, and melody. It opens with a very fast part for the bass instruments that does not let up, and brings in other instruments as it plows on. It was a very hard part for me because there was no good spot where I could breathe. It takes a lot of air to play Euphonium loudly, and there were no natural spots to breathe nor were there breath marks incorporated into the song. Despite these challenges, it was extremely fun to play both during practice and during the concert. During the concert, we played it a little slower than we practiced, which was somewhat helpful for my breathing. It’s definitely been my favorite piece that we’ve performed since I joined in August.
I did backstage crew for the first time during the winter gala, and it sure was an experience. It was quite fun to be handling all the backstage stuff and helping out the other performers, but it was very stressful. In backstage crew, time is money(not actual money in this case but audience satisfaction). You can only do so much to prepare yourself for the actual concert, and even then it is still difficult. Regardless of all of that, I still had a blast. After getting experience from winter gala and using lessons learned, we were far faster and more efficient as a backstage team this time around. While I was technically backstage manager, we all were equal when it came to clearing chairs and setting up microphones. The spring gala is even harder than the winter gala for the crew though, as it features the STOMP! performance from the 10th graders. This year, they had ladders, tons of buckets, and drumsticks and broom handles everywhere. We still managed to pull through however, and I think that we definitely did a good job, and also improved from last time. Maybe I’ll do backstage crew next year.
Here are some great photos that Gecko Network took during the concert