LHS bands perform their winter concert

Mr.+Gohr+explained+to+the+audience+the+musical+piece+%22In+a+Nutshell%22%2C+performed+by+the+Wind+Ensemble.+This+composition+included+music+written+in+both+1916+and+2011.

Mr. Gohr explained to the audience the musical piece "In a Nutshell", performed by the Wind Ensemble. This composition included music written in both 1916 and 2011.

On Thursday, Feb. 20, Libertyville High School’s four band groups – Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, and Wind Ensemble – performed their annual Winter Concert in the Butler Lake Auditorium. 

First to perform was the Concert Band, consisting of members ranging from freshmen to juniors. The first piece to be performed of the night was “March Diabolique,” composed by Brian Balmages. The composition lived up to its name as the music had march-like qualities while also building tension and giving off eerie feelings. Following this piece, the Concert Band performed “Paper Cut,” composed by Alex Shapiro. This composition, conducted by Mr. Gohr, was unique in that a key instrument was a single sheet of paper used by each member of the band. The members of the band used different methods to create different sounds from the paper. These methods included tearing, folding and crumpling.

Following the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band was next to perform. This group – largely made up of sophomores and juniors – began by performing “Spring Festival” by Chen Yi. The musical piece was similar to the show’s first composition in that it also featured marching elements. Immediately following this piece, the Symphonic Band performed “J.S. Jig,” composed by Brant Karrick. This composition featured maracas and the triangle, which allowed the music to give a bright melody with a Caribbean-style feel. Though it had its quieter moments as well, the piece ultimately led to a triumphant finish with a large cutoff.

Next to perform was the Symphonic Winds, which played a total of three pieces of music. The first piece, “Early Light,” was composed by Carolyn Bremer and was inspired by both baseball and the national anthem. The instruments in the piece created the sound of the crack of the bat on the ball multiple times throughout the composition. Next the Symphonic Winds performed “Walden,” composed by Michael Markowski. The piece was quite bombastic with a nice use of piano chords throughout. Following the end of the composition, juniors Bryce Nowicki and Desigamoorthy Shanmuganathan Nainar stood up and were recognized by conductor Dustin Helvie and the audience for their work on the song. Symphonic Winds concluded with their performance of “Ghost Train,” composed by Eric Whitacre. The piece was frightening and mysterious with a mystic train horn being provided by the percussionists. About halfway through the composition, the piece took a shift into a more joyous tone.

The final group to perform for the night was Wind Ensemble, made up of mostly upperclassmen. The first composition played by this group was “Irrational Joy,” composed by Steven Bryant. This piece was fast-paced and featured many complicated sections for the percussionists. Following this piece, the ensemble performed “Ash,” which was composed by Jennifer Jolley. This composition was both slow and tame while also maintaining strong cutoffs. The next piece, “In a Nutshell” by Percy Grainger, brought a different style to the concert. This song had a more comedic style and featured the xylophone heavily.

The fourth piece presented by Wind Ensemble was a little bit of a change of pace as well. This piece, called “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” by Camille Saint-Saens, heavily featured a violin solo throughout the over 10-minute-long composition. The violin solo was performed by senior Noah Kublank. Kublank was honored in the concert’s program, which highlighted his achievements with his violin domestically and internationally. According to the program, Kublank has toured European countries such as the Czech Republic and Germany as a part of the academy ensemble of Mrs. Betty Haag-Kuhnke – Kublank’s violin instructor since the age of 4. 

The final song of the night was also performed by Wind Ensemble. This composition – “Joyau” by David Gillingham – was brand new and the Winter Band Concert was only the second time it had been played in public. According to Mr. Adam Gohr, band teacher and conductor, who spoke during the concert, “Joyau” would eventually be played a third time at DePaul University, since the wind ensemble was invited to DePaul University’s Concert Hall.

The LHS bands will play next this April. Concert Band and Symphonic Band will perform on Wednesday, April 22, and Symphonic Winds and Wind Ensemble will perform on Tuesday, April 28.