BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Governor Livingston’s six band groups and ensembles performed in the annual winter concert in the Stiefel Theatre on Thursday, January 23.
The concert began with a bagpipe performance of “The Crags of Mount Tumbledown” and “Sean South of Garryowen,” followed by “Cutting Bracken” and “N’il S’en La.” The group is comprised of seniors Ben Cook, Victoria Beke, Arden Foster, George Skinner, and Allie Zimmermann, junior John Koubek, and sophomore Brandon Lim.
The opening performance was followed by the Jazz Improv class, conducted by Josef Ellis, performed three jazz songs, featuring a solo from each student: “Lady Bird,” “Blue Bossa,” and “Watermelon Man.” The class is made up of seniors Alex Buono and Allie Zimmermann, junior Joey Stecher, and sophomores Brianna Mendes and Andrew Rampaul-Pino.
The percussion ensemble performed two songs: “Excalibur” and “The River.” The ensemble consists of solely percussionists playing only percussion instruments and is directed by Josef Ellis.
The final group to take the stage before the intermission was the after school jazz band. The students performed three songs, which included solos from select students.
After the intermission, the wind ensemble performed “Funeral March” and “Irish Tune from County Derry,” better known as Danny Boy. Senior tuba player Ben Cook said, “My favorite part of the concert was the song by Edvard Grieg, ‘Funeral March,’ because it’s a beautiful piece.”
Finally, the entire concert band performed four songs. The first song was titled “Fantasy on an Irish Air.” “Old Churches”, the second song they played, included sections of aleatoric music, in which the musicians decide, in the moment, what to play. Sophomore flute player Mei Huang said, “I think ‘Old Churches’ was an interesting piece. It had a lot of knick knacks in the music that I had never seen before, and the chance parts in the piece were fun.”
“Rhythm Stand” followed, in which the musicians tapped pencils against their stands and snapped their fingers in addition to playing their instruments.
The final concert piece was “Prairie Dances,” which brought to an end a night of music across multiple genres.