WU concert unites, entertains

Brandon Bills

Washburn musicians blew away their audience Friday night.

The Washburn University Wind Ensemble performed their second concert of the semester Friday in White Concert Hall. They were joined on this occasion by the Washburn University Band.

Under the direction of Michael Averett, the University Band warmed a cold winter night with three selections that included “In Bleak Mid-winter,” “Masque,” and a great rendition of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Wind Ensemble, an audition-only group made up of the top wind players at Washburn, played music from “The Threepenny Opera” by Kurt Weill. The opera had a 1920s cabaret/dance band sound to some of the selections. Among the songs were “The Ballad of Mack the Knife” which gave us the Grammy Award winning song “Mack the Knife,” recorded by Bobby Darin in 1958.

Norman Gamboa, interim conductor of the wind ensemble, described the songs as “uplifting” and “quite complicated.”

“It’s a nice way to see students achieving goals,” said Gamboa.

Learning new selections for concerts is also a tool for students to build a personal repertoire or resume of music that will aid them in the job market after graduation.

During the nearly hour long concert, the University Band and the Wind Ensemble provided a great evening of free family entertainment.