HIGHNOTE: Test article for special section

Jessica Sheldahl

Myths and legends of the Old West, American Indian customs and classic jazz standards are just a few of the themes that will be explored through music at Iowa State’s annual Band Extravaganza.

“A lot of campuses have something traditional like this,” says Michael Golemo, chairman of the music department and conductor of the Wind Ensemble. “There are a number of high schools that come. It’s a great recruiting opportunity. It displays all facets of the program.”

Four ensembles are performing at the concert. The Symphonic Band will begin the first half of the show on stage and will play two pieces. The first is a march and will be followed by a piece about a legend from the Old West.

“There are two regular concerts and Band Extravaganza for us in the fall,” says Matthew Smith, associate director of bands and conductor of the Symphonic Band and Cyclone Marching Band.

“We do it every fall. It keeps our skills honed during the break between our concerts.”

When the curtain falls on the Symphonic Band, a hydraulic lift will bring Jazz Ensemble I up to the stage to play its three numbers.

“It’s a very important event to me,” says James Bovinette, associate professor of music and conductor of Jazz Ensemble I. “It’s an opportunity for the jazz ensemble to play at Stephens. The Band Extravaganza is really more of a showcase and, boy, do we have a good time getting showcased.”

The jazz program is relatively young in the music department, and has come a long way from its beginnings with Bovinette 11 years ago.

This year, Jazz Ensemble I will be playing a Duke Ellington standard, a ballad featuring Walter Reed on the flugal horn, and an unusually subdued final piece.

“It’s a pretty strong band this year,” says Reed, senior in music. “The section plays well together. There is good chemistry.”

Again, the curtain will rise, but this time the Wind Ensemble will be sitting where the Symphonic Band was previously sitting to finish off the first half of the concert.

The Wind Ensemble will play a march by an Iowa composer and a contemporary piece based on themes from the Seminole tribe in Florida.

Golemo says the piece is about a majestic oak tree that was a meeting point for the people. It is a colorful piece with many specific percussion parts and contains an interesting flute effect, he says.

The flautist will take off the head piece of the instrument to play the piece. The effect will come when she puts her finger in the hole creating an unusual sound almost like a slide whistle.

“It’s very mournful at times,” Golemo says.

As the curtain touches the floor, the lights will come on for a brief intermission before a rare indoor performance by the Cyclone Marching Band, which will fill the second half of the concert.

“We don’t perform indoors very often,” Smith says. “It’s a chance for the folks who don’t come to football games to see us.”

The marching band’s performance will highlight the entire season.