Fall 2020 Wind Symphony Concert

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By: Vicky Carrasquillo

The Wind Symphony held their annual fall home concert virtually this semester. Even though the fall concert looks different this year, everyone has worked really hard to make this happen despite being in a pandemic. The Wind Symphony upholds their great reputation they have among other small liberal arts institutions, and have even traveled all over the world from New York City to South Africa. If you would like to help support the symphony in their endeavors, please visit cuchicago.edu/give to donate. 

Our university pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger spoke some words about the challenges that we are all currently facing in this world and how this concert looks different to all of us this year. These concerts usually have an audience filled with students, family, and alumni. It’s sad and unfortunate that this new way of life excludes a lot of the people that we care about and are close to, but despite these challenges, he encourages us to move forward. Music is especially healing and inspiring in times like these, and Pastor Jeff wants us to be inspired by this music and taken somewhere else. There are two things that he wants us to be inspired by, and that is the power of Gospel and the power of music. The power of the Gospel is that the love of God is greater than anything else, and the power of music soothes and heals the soul. 

The first piece “Fanfare and Hymn” was upbeat and contained a lot of trumpet usage. It was a powerful piece with an even bigger message. This is a perfect song for these times of challenges that we are all currently facing, and it reminds us that God is bigger than all of this. A lot of these pieces are relatable and appropriate during this time in the world. There are even happy ones to uplift you. 

All of the musicians were properly distanced and spread out all throughout chapel. Some were even playing their instruments through their masks, and one flutist even cut holes in her mask so she could play her flute with her nose still partially covered. The conductor was also properly distanced away from the musicians, as usual. It was a bit weird to see the musicians spread out and sitting away from each other, instead of sitting closely like they usually would. Even though it was different, it was still beautiful. 

“The March” was a lighter and happier piece, that was actually originally written for a marching band instead of an orchestra. It was something different that sounded folk-esque with trumpets and trombones. It was choppy and danceable with a happy undertone.

“House of Horrors” was a fun Halloween-y piece that was supposed to be planned for Halloween, but since this concert was slightly delayed due to COVID-19, they still had it planned to perform. It was a very fun and spooky piece with the use of xylophones and untraditional sounds. It originally was a classical piece, but with a pop culture twist addition. It was unique and perfect for the fall season, and I’m happy we still got to see it. 

Tuba section leader and music education major, AJ Howard, spoke a few words on behalf of the symphony about what it took to get to the final performance. AJ is a senior here at CUC and a Chicago native. He spoke directly to the at-home audience about the obstacles these student musicians have had to go through this past semester, like getting used to zoom meetings and adjusting to not having an audience. Nonetheless, music has been beneficial to all at this time and the Wind Symphony has brought us joy through music and a nice distraction from our stressful daily lives. 

It’s crucial that we remain positive and hopeful during the pandemic and music is there to turn to. The Wind Symphony and all of our talented musicians here at CUC have especially shone bright during this semester and everyone can benefit from attending a performance.