Fall Instrumental POPS Concert Preview

By Emerson Brown, Staff Writer

// Through the cracks of the band room door, students can be heard chanting “ooga chaka ooga ooga ooga chaka.” This is a stark contrast to the usual melodies and rhythms seeping into the hallway. This peculiar sight is Symphonic Band practicing one of their pieces, ‘Soundtrack Highlights from Guardians of the Galaxy’ which includes a small chant in the beginning. 

   The Instrumental Pops Concert is a new event on Acalanes campus where the band and orchestra students perform, an addition to the Choral Pops Concert in the spring.

   The Instrumental Pops Concert will be conducted by instrumental music director Lauren Gibson and performed by instrumental music students on Thursday, Oct.10, in the Acalanes performing arts center (PAC).

   The pops concert will consist of musicians playing popular pieces that audience members are more likely to know rather than unknown pieces that many may not recognize, hence the name ‘pops’ concert. The Acalanes Instrumental Pops Concert will heavily feature movie soundtracks.

   Symphonic Band will be playing ‘Themes from Guardians of the Galaxy’ along with ‘Music for a Darkened Theater’, a medley of pieces from eerie scenes in movies.

   Wind Ensemble will be playing ‘The Cowboys’, ‘Avengers’, ‘Vulcan’, and ‘Themes from Harry Potter’ as a collaboration with the orchestra. 

   Finally, the orchestra will be playing ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles, music from ‘Brave’, and two movements from the opera Carmen.

   “I am really excited,” Symphonic Band percussionist Molly Ransdell said. “This music is really fun and it’s slightly different from the regular music we play.”

   The majority of the instrumental music students know these pieces and Gibson expects the audience to know the music as well. 

   “It will be familiar music that you know, that will remind you of movies you watched. I think every tune people will know and they’ll know the melodic motifs from,” Gibson said. 

   While the ensembles have played pop music and movie soundtracks before, this is the first time the concert consists of modern music entirely.  

  Along with the various performances, there will also be a guest artist playing with Wind Ensemble. Johnathan Latta will be playing Vulcan and Concertino with the Wind Ensemble, the latter heavily featuring vibes, marimba, timpani, and the drumset. 

   The concert’s familiar music and the guest artist are meant to appeal to the Acalanes student body and draw more student attendees than normal.

   “It’s going to be a really fun concert with tunes almost everyone knows,” flutist Autumn Long said. “Everyone should come and support instrumental music!”

Leave a Reply