Concert Bands Perform Small Ensembles “Collage Concert”


Gillian Neale

Students from Symphonic Band 1 perform in a small brass ensemble.

Carly Philpott and Gillian Neale

Creek’s four concert bands performed in Fine Arts Theater on March 29, displaying a variety of pieces from marches to orchestral classics.

The March concert was unlike previous band concerts in that it was what band director Jessica Vaughn referred to as a “collage concert” – a performance made up of several small and large ensemble pieces, all from different student groups.

The concert began with three pieces from Concert Band. With more challenging techniques, many of their peers said Concert Band has shown improvement since August. “The concert band has grown immensely from their first performance earlier this year,” senior Wind Ensemble percussionist Nathan Krause said.

Vaughn agreed, adding that this growth was also apparent among her other students. “Concert Band, I’ve seen the growth from beginning to now, and that’s also outstanding,” Vaughn said. “But some of those small ensembles, last year, were freshmen, and they just are so much stronger players.”

Junior Wind Ensemble percussionist Keira Dube also mentioned that even many of the more advanced students displayed clear progress in this concert, strengthening their performance.

“At the beginning of the year we were all really timid and didn’t really know what we were doing, but now we have a lot more confidence,” Dube said.

Over the course of third quarter, the four band classes split into small ensembles, assigned by Vaughn and fellow band director Tim Libby. They worked throughout class time on individual pieces, and then auditioned for a spot in the final concert. According to Libby, the ensemble work that these students do – in groups as small as two and as large as half the band – is a display of the skills they’ve fostered throughout the year.

“I like watching those small ensembles play, so that you can see the skill development and musical development in each individual,” Libby said. “We do coach them a little bit. But predominantly, they learned that music and rehearsed it all on their own.”

Sophomore Symphonic Band 2 flutist Wyatt Hess called out the talent on display from smaller ensembles. “It’s really just so amazing seeing all of them as musicians,” Hess said.

Small ensemble concerts present a different kind of challenge, where more pressure is on each individual. But Libby felt that the concert was a success, and presented the students’ abilities well.

“When they’re playing as a band, it’s a totally different kind of confidence,” Libby said, “You’re part of a bigger sound. When you’re in a small group, it’s just you. You can see the skill development in terms of independence from each player in a small ensemble.”