Washburn University Band performed Spring Concert

Dedicated to music: Kristina Hernandez is a senior music education major. She played bass clarinet in the spring concert.

Washburn University Band performed the annual Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15 at White Concert Hall.

Kristina Hernandez, senior music education major, played bass clarinet in the spring concert.

“I thought we did a very good job. The director really took the band in a different direction this year,” said Hernandez. “It was a really positive experience for all of us and it’s very fun overall.”

The band performed several music pieces, including Block M by Jerry Bilik (b. 1933), Prelude, Sciliano and Rondo by Malcolm Arnold (1921 – 2006), Amazing Grace by Frank Ticheli (b. 1958), Furst Suite in Eb by Gustav Holst (1874 – 1934), Sandpaper Ballet by Leroy Anderson (1908 – 1975), West Side Story Selections by Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990) and Salute to Kansas March by John Philip Sousa (1854 – 1932). Sandpaper Ballet featured Kevin Harry, Sabrina Cathcart and Nicholas Hogue.

Noah Chard, music performance major, was a performer at the concert.

“It’s kind of hard to keep focus during the long concert,” said Chard. “As a musician, it’s hard to stay quiet and work professional. There are always mistakes that have never been made like before and rehearsals. I think we corrected a lot of our mistakes.”

Students showcased various instruments at the concert. They included piccolo, flute, oboe, e-flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion.

“We have a new director this year, and he’s very excited to make everybody have a positive experience and be excited about it,” said Hernandez. “He wanted to make sure that everybody had fun, and we all did.”

J. Thomas Seddon IV is the Director of Bands at Washburn. Prior to joining the faculty at Washburn, he was the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble Director at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Seddon appears as a clinician and presenter for conferences, workshops and as an adjudicator regionally and nationally.

This spring concert was similar with the style of John Philip Sousa. In Sousa’s time people would have programs with combinations of marches, transcriptions of orchestral pieces, a variety of soloists and occasionally other types of entertainment music, according to the Department of Music.

“I was proud of it, and I think the other people should be too,” said Chard.

DiAnne Miller is a Topeka resident and also a family member of one of the performers.

“I always enjoy college students’ concerts. Music is actually important for our life,” said Miller. “We had him, our son, in music class since he was in first grade. Now he is music major.”

The University Band is part of the music department. The band provides opportunities for students, music teachers and alumni to improve music techniques and performance. The band is open to all Washburn students, whether music major or not. Ensembles perform regularly, and most concerts are free and open to the public. The current semester’s performance schedule can be found at washburn.edu/music.