Student ensembles to give first concert of semester

Jessica Sheldahl

What: Concert Band and Symphonic Band Performance

Where: Ames City Auditorium

When: 7:30 p.m., Fri, Sept. 30

Cost: $3 students, $5 public

With all the stress in a student’s busy life between classes, reading, studying, papers, projects, part-time job, love life, social life and more, a place to get away from all that can be much needed.

“I wanted to use the symphonic band as an outlet for stress and to get away from science classes,” says Carrie Jenkins, senior in zoology. “It’s something different than a lecture for students in science.”

The concert and symphonic bands have been preparing for the upcoming concert since the beginning of the semester.

The concert band will be performing first and will play four different pieces varying in age and sound.

“I usually try to play the newest stuff that has been published and some of the very good literature that is still there,” says Gary Kleptach, lecturer of music and director of the concert band.

Kleptach says the concert band is comprised of about 65 members this fall and is well instrumented. It is not uncommon for the concert band to have 120 members in the spring, but it is smaller in the fall because so many members are in the marching band.

“It’s basically a band for non-majors,” Kleptach says. “This is the only non-audition group here at the university in the instrumental department.”

“There are everything from students who are education majors all the way through engineers,” Kleptach says. “This gives them an opportunity to continue their pursuits of music as a release.”

“I would like the students to be able to express music and be able to sit down and enjoy ensemble and orchestral music and not just the modern music they listen to,” Kleptach says.

After the concert band is finished performing, the 61-member symphonic band will play.

“The symphonic band is the second band,” says Matthew Smith, lecturer of music and associate director of bands and director of the symphonic band. “The top band is the wind ensemble.”

The symphonic band is made up of 20 to 25 percent music majors and requires an audition.

Some sections are competitive to get into, Smith says.

“In the fall, we’re performing on two concerts plus Band Extravaganza,” he says.

For this concert, the symphonic band will be playing three pieces one of which will include two movements from “The Lord of the Rings” by Johann de Meij.

“The Lord of the Rings” was influenced by the books, not the movie.

“For this first concert, my goal is to really get us off on the right foot,” Smith says. “I want a little bit of a challenge, but to start the semester strong by sounding good and also a chance to gel as an ensemble.”