A quiet afternoon was quickly changed as the sounds of inspiring musicians filled the Recital Hall on Oct. 12. The LMC College Concert Band, along with special guest the Diablo Wind Symphony, performed this past Sunday for a packed house of music lovers of all ages.
“There’s a lot of new faces in the band,” said Trumpeter Roberto Ruiz in reference to the LMC Concert Band.
Ruiz, who pulled double duty playing for both performances of the evening, stated that although the anticipation for the event was “stressful,” there is enjoyment in the process, saying, “In the end when we play together as a band, we have fun.”
Originally scheduled for a 5 p.m. start time, the event was pushed back slightly as the crowd of attendees purchased tickets and found their seats, and just after five minutes the lights dimmed and Rob Dehlinger took his place at the podium for the first time as conductor for the Concert Band.
With a boom from the percussion section, the LMC Concert Band began their performance with “Music For a Carnival,” a piece with a theme that would lead ones imagination to wander through visuals of carnival rides, caramel apples and the mysteries of the big top.
“Thank you everyone for coming,” said Dehlinger after the conclusion of the first piece. After a brief acknowledgement to his former teachers John and Diane Maltester, the conductor turned back to his band and continued on.
A longer piece than the first, “Gaelic Rhapsody” had a more complex arrangement, with various themes based on a culture and heritage that played a large part in American history, even including a brief medley surrounding the classic “Oh Danny Boy.”
After the band’s final piece “Amparito Roca,” a Spanish-themed arrangement with a strong sense of nationalistic pride, the crowd showed enthusiasm with strong applause as the performers left the stage to make way toward their guests.
Following the set from the LMC Concert Band, the musicians of the Diablo Wind Symphony took the stage. The group, ranging from eighth grade to college, was the highlight of the evening.
As if traveling through the crowded streets of New York, the busy sound of “American Fanfare” gave the audience an excellent first impression of the skills of all the members of the symphony.
“I’m Diane Maltester if you haven’t figured that out,” joked the conductor prior to thanking the audience for attending and providing compliments toward her former student now turned conductor. “I want to think that he got that musical talent from me,” she said.
As the audience settled down after laughing in response to the conductor’s comment, the symphony began their longest piece of the night, “Hebrides Suite,” a four-section arrangement with a multi-layered feel that incorporated both soft and heavy instrumentation.
Following a brief pause, Dr. Eric Hammer made his way to the podium to conduct his first arrangement with the symphony, “Chorale and Alleluia.” With a full range that changed from heavy and bustling to soft and airy, the piece was performed well.
“Nothing better than a band concert on a Sunday afternoon,” said Hammer. “We’re going take you to the movies now.”
An excellent arrangement coupled with an amazing performance by the young musicians, the “Symphonic Suite from STAR TREK” took the audience on a trip through the many decades of the sci-fi pop culture phenomenon. Leaving some attendees with “goose bumps,” the tribute to the many compositions of the series indeed had an impact on the audience and fellow musicians alike.
“Absolutely awesome,” said RC Kubota, flautist for the Concert Band following her performance.
As the symphony completed an excerpt from “Pineapple Poll,” their last piece of the evening, the crowd responded with enthusiasm. Applause filled the air in appreciation of the performance of the artists and conductors alike. Across the Recital Hall, Dehlinger embraces his former teachers as they complimented him on all his endeavors.
“I think he did a wonderful job. It shows you students from here can succeed,” said Maltester, a proud smile appeared as she spoke.
“It was a little nerve racking,” said Dehlinger, adding, “It was very special.”