Musicians perform on Menasha campus
By Jenna Johnstone
Photo by Avery Leith
Musicians played works from Saucedo and others in the
Communication Arts Center in October.
The Fox Valley Concert Band presented their fall concert in Perry Hall Oct. 19.
The program was directed by associate professor of music Marc Sackman, who has served as director of band for the last decade. It featured music inspired by folk music traditions from around the world, including countries such as Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Australia, Mexico, and America.
"I try to make a balanced program, kind of like a balanced menu, this ended up being kind of centered on folk music...," Sackman said.
"...I always want a march, pieces that would be good for the band to work on, and pieces that I think they will enjoy and challenge them, and important works that I think they need to know...,"
The band puts on four free concerts per year, and is composed of about 65 members who practice once a week for two hours straight. The band had only seven rehearsals before their first concert.
"There are a lot of good players otherwise we wouldn't be able to put together as much music as we do in such a short time span," Sackman said.
Audience members enjoyed the musical selections.
"I liked the music tonight, it was an interesting blend and sounded really good," audience member Haley Harris said.
"I didn't really know what to expect but I thought it was really good, I liked the music and it sounded great to me...," audience member Tyler Sadoff said.
Some audience members were surprised by the quality of the show.
"I was surprised at how great the music was tonight, they did a wonderful job and had me the whole time," audience member Janet Faltynski said.
"...A lot of people don't come because they think it's going to be a typical band concert, kind of show tunes and marches and we do a lot more than that," Sackman said.
"...I think people should come and check it out. They'd be surprised in a pleasant way, that would be my hope anyway, but that's my experience from people who come to the concerts; they enjoy it very much and get a lot out of it,"
The Fox Valley concert band is an integrated organization.
"It's a 'communiversity' band, which means it is community members and UW-Fox students...," Sackman said.
"It's a great thing, the band, because it's made up of mostly nonprofessionals and people who love to play. Nobody gets paid and they come because they love it and it's great,"
Fox students can take concert band for academic credit or join recreationally. Community members can audition and are allowed to join on the basis that there is a position for them.
"UW-Fox students do not have to audition, they have to have played in high school and be able to read music... a lot of [community members] have been in the band for a number of years, it depends on if we need them or not," Sackman said.
The small amount of time spent practicing is an obstacle for the band.
"Given the fact that we have so little rehearsal time... technically it's going to be difficult, we always have people to have to miss [rehearsal]," Sackman said.
The diversity of the band also makes it unique.
"A conservatory like Lawrence [University] rehearses two to three times a week and they're all music students and they're all there all the time practicing. We have people who are engineers and teachers and nurses and all sorts of professions," Sackman said.
Audience members said they planned on attending concerts in the future.
"Me and my husband came to a couple [performances] last year and we plan on coming back," Faltynski said.
"I would definitely come to another concert," Harris said
"I'd probably come to another concert... I like Christmas music so I'd probably go to that [holiday concert]...," Sadoff said.
The concert band has exciting performances in the works.
"In March we will have a guest soloist Robert Spring, who is the professor of clarinet at Arizona State. He was the teacher of one our clarinetists, who is a professional composer, and she is going to write a piece for two clarinets in band and we'll have the world premiere," Sackman said.
Sackman offers short and sweet advice to aspiring musicians.
"If you want to play, go play,"
"Music is a way to express things that you can't express any other way... it's a fundamental part of being human,"
The band's next performance is a holiday concert Dec. 13. at Perry Hall. For more information on upcoming events, please visit www.uwfox.uwc.edu/cac/musicevents.html.