As music began to fill the auditorium, the audience grew silent and the sound of the College/Community Concert Band filled Sexson Auditorium as it began the jazz recital on April 16.


As music began to fill the auditorium, the audience grew silent and the sound of the College/Community Concert Band filled Sexson Auditorium as it began the jazz recital on April 16.Also performing that night were the Lancer Jazz Big Band and the Lancer Concert Band.

The highlight of the evening came from the Lancer Concert Band in its performance of Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy,” conducted by Kyle Luck.

“It is an expression of hope in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine,” said Luck. “[It is] a reminder of how fragile life is.”

The band started the piece by singing Columbine High School’s alma mater. It was beautiful, heartfelt and moving.

The piece gave the notion of being strong and fighting through the pain.

“It is a very powerful and beautiful piece,” said Luck. “It has been emotional for the band to play, but it is maturing [for them].”

Luck describes the piece as hope out of tragedy and that it shows that life goes on.

As the night progressed, the music improved and it became apparent that the last two bands had rehearsed considerably more than the first.

“It was very enjoyable, but at most of [my son’s] events they practice a whole lot more,” said Jill Pyeett, mother of a performer.

“I was a bit disappointed. I thought they were out of unison and could have done better,” said Geoff Reid, an audience member.

The most enjoyable part of the first performance was the conductor’s enthusiasm as he led the band. It seemed as if he was one with the music, and it was very enjoyable to watch him, even though his back was turned to the audience.

During the piece “The Symphonic Duke,” professional saxophone and clarinet player Steve Wilkerson made a guest appearance.

The difference between student and professional was obvious when Wilkerson performed, but overall the Lancer Concert Band performed very well.

The Lancer Jazz Big Band was a breath of fresh air after the first performance.

It was well rehearsed and the performers seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Its set featured individual musicians, the most outstanding being Sean Alvord on the tenor saxophone. He put across the feeling that he absolutely loved what he was doing.

The Lancer Jazz Big Band closed the evening with an upbeat piece that had audience members tapping their feet. It featured an electric guitar, which gave a unique sound.

The guitarist was jumping and bopping around, which made it more enjoyable to watch.

“We try to mix up a bit of everything,” said Andrea Baker Wilkerson, director of the Lancer Jazz Big Band. “I look for material that grooves or swings.

Conductor Paul Kilian leads the College/Community Concert Band in Sexson Auditorium on April 16. (Michael Barron Del-Cid)

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