Wind Ensemble plays college level music at February concert

Concert recorded to submit for Super State entry


Band director Mark Dahl conducts the Wind Ensemble in playing ‘Awayday’ in NC Reber Center on Feb. 2 (Davis/LION).

Lillian Davis, Reporter

A show that only took roughly two hours to perform really took about three months to prepare and practice for. The Wind Ensemble, as well as the Symphonic band and concert bands, performed a collection of music pieces at their concert on Feb. 2. 

The Wind Ensemble is the highest level of band offered at LT, trumpet player Audrey Schissler ‘23 said. Students have to audition for the group and it’s made up of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. 

“Wind Ensemble plays closer to college-level music,” Schissler said. “Our songs are really abstract and there are lots of moving parts.” 

The group played two pieces at the concert, “Awayday” by Adam Gorb and “A Jubilant Overture” by Alfred Reed. “Awayday” was an abstract college-level piece, while “A Jubilant Overture” was a more traditional one, Schissler said. 

“[‘Awayday’] was really difficult,” Schissler said. “Usually we get a piece of music and most of us are able to read the notes and rhythms in a week or two, but this one we were learning how to play the song up until two weeks before the concert.”

The two songs were recorded at the concert to be submitted for entry into Super State. Super State is the Illinois state finals for band, which LT has qualified for the past few years. Music pieces for Super State are the highest level of music for each group based on experience level, band director Mark Dahl said. 

“We try to get a variety of pieces in the concert,” Dahl said. “There is usually a very traditional piece that’s been around for 100 years or so and each band also performs a march as well as a contemporary piece.” 

To prepare for the concert and recording, the Wind Ensemble created a “practice challenge” to practice everyday for a month leading up to the concert, clarinet player Piper Murray ‘24 said. 

“[In Wind Ensemble], you have to be more independent on everything,” Murray said “For example, counting: you have to count in your head and visualize everything as well as listen to the song instead of just playing it how you think it sounds.” 

Wind Ensemble, compared to other bands at LT such as the jazz band or marching band, the playing techniques are very different, Murray said. 

“Marching band music is very much about trying to play as loud as you can while still keeping a good sound, you’re trying to impress your audience,” she said. “In [the] Wind Ensemble, it’s more about focusing on your tone and sounding beautiful.” 

Out of all the bands at LT, there are many people involved in multiple bands. Everyone in band is in marching band as well as some people who also are in the jazz band or pep band, Schissler said. 

“[My favorite part of band] is the community,” Schissler said. “You can go into any subsect of the band and there will always be someone there who wants to talk to you.”