LMC and Hillview concert bands impress

Wall to wall positive comments as excited parents, students and faculty made their way into Los Medanos College’s recital hall this past Wednesday night in anticipation for LMC’s and Hillview Jr. High’s concert band performances. The accolades and positive comments were well deserved as both bands put their best foot forward, each displaying the strongest parts of their ensembles. The idea that one band was better than the other was nonexistent as both performances complimented one another and showed that musical talents exists at every level, regardless of age.

When the voices simmered and the lights dimmed, the enchantment began. After a short introduction from LMC’s Rob Dehlinger, the Hillview Jr. High Concert band led by Diane Klaczynski launched right into their first piece, Charles Carter’s “Overture for Winds.” The band played the spirited piece with looks of solemn determination and ultimately played with a cohesive flow. Some of the youngsters looked relieved after the song had concluded.

Each musician seemed much more confident going into their next three-part piece, “Three Ayres from Glaoucester,” composed by Hugh M. Stewart.

The first part, “Jolly Earl of Chamondeley,” had a jaunty sound. Looking out into the crowd, the audience member’s eyes fixated on the Hillview players who each wore a serene but focused look on their faces as they played. The second part, “Ayre for Eventide,” was more somber. It contrasted spectacularly with the part three of the piece, “The Fiefs of Wembley,” the delicate sound of the woodwind section contrasted against the booming presence of the percussion and horns.

In the next piece, “Loch Lomond,” the spritely wind chimes cutting through the heaviness of the piece, making it almost sound like a choir was singing. LMC flutist Reiko Kubota noted the differences between the bands. Hillview had more trumpeters and a person on the piccolo, while LMC’s concert band had more percussionists and an oboe player. And though the difference in sound was noticeable, it didn’t detract from either of the cohesive flow of the performances.

Klaczynski then introduced their last piece “Circus of Bees.” Afterward, Klaczynski thanked everyone for supporting the band and everyone applauded as they were led to their seats.

There was a short intermission. While Hillview players were seated and given programs, LMC set up for their performances. The audience chatted amongst themselves until the lights signaled the end of the break.

Dmitri Kabalevsky’s “Comedians’ Galop” was the first piece. Dehlinger said he was inspired by a video he saw of another band playing the song blindfolded. There was a richer drumming sound due to there being a larger number in LMC’s percussion section.

“Premier for Band” was the next piece. Though the drums were the most legible of the instruments, both the horns and woodwinds mellowed out the sound, making it loud but enjoyable to watch.

Piece number three was George Kenny‘s “Allegro Brillante.” Though this up-tempo piece was written in a way that showcases each musician’s talents, the xylophonist owned it in this particular rendition. It set the pace for the entire performance.

Save for the difference in uniform – Hillview wore black and white, LMC wore black – there were no discrepancies in the quality of the performance. The audience seemed to think so too as they gave each ensemble hearty applause. As per Dehlinger’s wishes, the audience had “a great night” indeed.