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Witt Symphonic concert is about dances

The band is mostly students, but not entirely.

Wittenberg University’s Symphonic Band will present its winter concert Friday night, with the theme Songs and Dances.

“It’s free, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy,” said Brandon D. Jones, conductor and associate professor of music. “There are fast, upbeat songs and slow, melodic ones. Most of the music we’re playing is less than 100 years old. They are very tuneful and have nice contrast.”

Jones has planned five works to entertain concert-goers, including “Celtic Hymns and Dances” by Eric Ewazen; “Be Thou My Vision” by David Gillingham; “Incantation and Dance” by John Barnes Chance; “Sheltering Sky” by John Mackey; and “Danza Final” by Alberto Ginastera.

“We have folk music, a ballet and a hymn. ‘Incantation and Dance’ is very groove-based, and ‘Sheltering Sky’ is a slow, beautiful, expressive piece,” said Jones.

The band is comprised of about 40 Wittenberg students plus 10 people from the community, ranging in age from 15 and older.

“Some of the community members have been playing with the band long before I got here, which was seven years ago. Some are Wittenberg alumni, and some just live in the area and like to play,” said Jones. “I think the community members enjoy the challenge of playing at a this level. It’s fantastic to have them. Their experience shows the students that there is life in music after college.”

Caitlin Lobl, 18, of New Carlisle, started playing with the Wittenberg symphony when she was a senior at Tecumseh High School.

“This concert is about different dances. It’s really fun music,” said Lobl. “This is my second year in the band. I got involved because I was taking lessons from a professor here, and he told me about this band and that they needed more horns. I like playing, and being able to play in a college band is pretty cool.”

Jones said he has members who come as far away as Bellefontaine to play with them. In addition, some faculty participate, as well.

“We have a biology professor that plays bassoon; a chemistry teacher who plays clarinet; and a science professor that plays flute. They call themselves The Triple-bond Trio.”

The band will have one more concert this season in April. “That one will be called American Soundscapes and will feature all American composers,” said Jones.

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