Music department prepares for spring concerts


Sydney Kinzy

Directing the orchestra at in the theater, Mr. Sandheinrich waves his arms to conduct his students.

The month of April is a busy month for the music department; all three spring concerts—band, orchestra and choir—fall within three weeks of each other.

“We haven’t had a concert since December, so I’m excited we get to perform something,” Band Director Brad Wallace said. “We’ll hopefully never have this long of a gap again; to me, it seemed like a long time. It’ll be nice to be able to perform something.”

The band will be performing on Tuesday, April 26. The orchestra performed on April 21 and the choir performed on April 12. Along with Wallace, Orchestra Director Ed Sandheinrich was also looking onward to the orchestra spring concert.

“I’m looking forward to the concert as a whole because everyone is in a place where all of the music will sound really good,” Sandheinrich said. “Everyone’s playing well, and I’m looking forward to putting on a really good concert, especially since it’s the year-end concert, [so] the seniors will get to finish their high school orchestra career in a good way.”

Once the concert comes to fruition the rewards are numerous for directors, performers and audience members alike, but preparing for them is seen as a challenge.

“[One] thing that is tough is consistency; making sure that we do the same things everyday in all of the pieces whether it be playing softly here, or maybe balance in another place; musicality things,” Wallace said. “I [also] think, just having a young band [is difficult], having a lot of freshmen; a lot of us haven’t performed a lot, and just getting everyone very comfortable and confident in that respect.”

Performers, like their directors, also recognize the challenges that lie in concert preparation.

“Making sure that everyone plays cohesively and as a group, and not at their own tempo and their own dynamics [is difficult],” sophomore violinist Matyas Csiki-Fejer said.

Since the concerts present themselves as a challenge to prepare for, all of the directors have rituals or small ideas that they cling to before and during the concerts.

“I wear the same bowtie that I’ve had since I was 18, I bought it in 1998. It looks a little out of style, but I’ve worn it every time I perform,” Wallace said. “I [also] think it’s fun to break the ice before a concert and have someone tell a joke, that’s something that I’ve done all of the years that I’ve taught; it’s something that helps everyone get more relaxed.”

The band will be performing “Symphonic Overture” by Charles Carter, “The Black Horse Troop” by John Philip Sousa, “An American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli and “Courtly Airs and Dances” by Ron Nelson along with assorted ensembles following.

“I’m most excited about performing the piece ‘American Elegy’ because it was written in honor of the lives lost and those affected by the events at Columbine, and it’s written so beautifully with so much meaning,” junior and trumpetist Emily Bauer said. “There is also an amazing trumpet solo—which I have the honor of playing—that incorporates the Columbine High School fight song.”

“Ashokan Farewell” by Jay Ungar, “Fledermaus Overture” by Johann Strauss II, “Prelude and Fugue” by J.S. Bach and the last movement of “Serenade for Strings” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky are some of the pieces that the orchestra will be performing at their concert on April 21.

“I would quote someone who recently told me that my conducting style is ‘inspired by those blow up inflatable things in front of used car dealerships,’” Sandheinrich said. “My friends tell me I am a beautiful conductor, [and] I tend to move more than most people do, but sometimes when you’re trying to convey emotion and expression you have to overdo it for the orchestra, and then they reciprocate and they play at a better level. I [also] stomp my feet…when I shouldn’t.”