Banding together: Music ensembles perform at annual combined concert


Joseph Dicklin

The 2022 Band Extravaganza took place in Stephens Auditorium Nov. 11.

Every seat in Stephens Auditorium was filled during the Band Extravaganza concert Friday.

Band Extravaganza is an annual event that hosts around five bands over two hours. These performances often have over 2,700 people in attendance.

The Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, State Storm and the varsity marching band performed Friday evening.

Band Extravaganza is planned at the start of the year. Michael Golemo, the director of music and theater, oversees the process of handling Band Extravaganza each year.

“We have been planning all semester for Band Extravaganza,” Golemo said. “We lay out all our concerts, but this one is an exceptional one. We contacted many prospective bands to sell out the place, so we expect many people to come in and have a wonderful time.”

The event’s primary purpose is to showcase the ISU band program. Each ensemble that performed at the event previously played in other events this year, including at-home football games to prepare fans for game day. However, this event is intended for friends and family.

“We plan for this all year and try to make this an accessible and user-friendly concert,” Golemo said. “Much careful planning is put into place, especially with the marching band because it is their only indoor event.”

The attention to Golemo’s work attracts a wide variety of people to visit the auditorium. A large portion of the audience is friends and family of the students performing. A smaller amount includes students from other schools who visit campus to see the event.

One of the highlights of the Band Extravaganza is the use of original music. The Wind Ensemble opened with a piece developed by Leonard Bernstein, a vocal soloist for the band.
The band played a rendition of his work for those affected by the war in Ukraine.

Halfway through the event, Jazz I played a remake of the song “You Make Me Feel so Young,” by Frank Sinatra. The song was performed by vocalist Sophia Pike, a senior music major.

Topping off the night was the varsity football marching band playing music they had performed during the football season, which was met with applause and demands for an encore.

“Honestly, I feel like they gave it their all,” said Amanda Keysley, a Stephens Auditorium stagehand. “We have put a lot of time and effort into this, so to see everyone getting the applause they deserve is great.”

Plans for the 2023 Band Extravaganza are currently underway, and the event will likely premiere again in fall 2023.