Photo description: Wind Symphony Director Robert Cody stands with the symphony members as they receive a standing ovation from the audience following the concert
Photo credit: Esther Molina
Concordia’s Wind Symphony performed its first concert of the 2023-24 school year for more than 100 people at St. John Lutheran Church Sunday night.
The Wind Symphony is Concordia’s audition-only instrumental ensemble, and consists of students from many academic majors, all years in college and various U.S. states.
The ensemble is under the direction of Professor Robert D. Cody. Saturday’s concert was Cody’s first with the group, as he joined Concordia’s faculty over the summer as director of instrumental music.
“It went very well for our first concert together in a new place,” said Cody. “The students worked very hard.”
The program consisted of eight unique pieces, such as David Holsinger’s “Deerpath Dances” and Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonic March.” As Cody noted, however, the program began and ended with joy. The opening piece was Jared Spears’ “Joyous Alleluias,” and the last piece listed was Frank Ticheli’s “Joy Revisited.”
After a standing ovation from the audience, Cody announced an encore and the Wind Symphony finished the night with Todd Stalter’s “Critical Mass.” The audience responded with a second standing ovation as the band filed out of the sanctuary.
“The most exciting thing was the excitement from the audience… [how] they feel inspired or changed as a result of the music in any part,” said Cody.
The performance garnered positive reviews from ensemble members and audience members alike.
“I liked what [Cody] said in between, giving the context of the song,” said senior Hannah Nissing. “It really added to the performance.”
Sophomore Grace Donnelly, a Wind Symphony member, praised the community aspect of the ensemble’s performance.
“It’s a really special experience that I love sharing with the community,” she said. “The audience adds meaning to the music.”
“And we love hearing it!” added sophomore Rachel Brinkman, an audience member.
Cody dedicated one song on the program, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” to the family of its arranger, Robert W. Smith, who passed away in September. The piece featured senior Elise Leapley on the flute.
Sophomore Hannah Ethridge reflected on her first concert playing bass clarinet instead of her usual clarinet.
“Playing a new instrument was an exciting learning experience for me,” she said. “I’m grateful for all the support and fun songs that helped me learn it well.”
The Wind Symphony will play at the National Honor Band Concert hosted in Concordia’s gym at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. They will also play at the upcoming annual Christmas at Concordia concerts.