The UVU Wind Symphony performed at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 4, featuring a program suitably called “Splintered.” Conducted by Dr. Christopher Ramos, the first song, “Splinter” by Holly Harrison, launched the audience right into the spooky season.
The woodwind section shrilled with high-pitched sounds like screams, while the brass and percussion sections boomed with loud thunderclaps and a deep bass line. “Splinter” was a chaotic and eerie piece that kicked off the performance with just the right amount of horror.
After a short interlude, the symphony began with the next song, “Ash” by Jennifer Jolly. “Ash” is a piece about Jolly’s experience with the forest fires in California. She wrote the song while reflecting on a moment in her life when ash was raining from the sky after a terrible fire. The piece is about the mixture of fear and awe Jolly felt with what she witnessed, while also expressing the beauty and life that can still survive after such a tragedy. The symphony dedicated this song to Maui, an island in Hawaii that recently suffered from a forest fire that took nearly 100 lives. “Ash” was both solemn and heartfelt, making it a perfect tribute.
The next song, “Handel in the Strand” by Percy Grainger and arranged by Richard Franko Goldman, brought a more light-hearted and fun tone to the performance, sounding like it came straight from a Charlie Brown cartoon. The song served as a lifeboat for an audience who had been drowning in despair after the two previous pieces.
The symphony concluded with “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka. A piano was brought in, and one of the percussionists dampened the strings to give it a muted sound. The solemn piano fit in perfectly with the deep tones and hopeless nature of the first movement. The music began to swell into the second movement when everything became much more fast-paced. What felt like hopelessness quickly changed into hope as the entire symphony came together for a passionate conclusion. “Give Us This Day” was perhaps the most inspiring piece of music played that night.
The UVU Wind Symphony gave an inspiring performance that displayed the arduous work they put into their sound, making it a perfect entrance into the Halloween season. To get more information on future performances, check out the Noorda in person or visit their website at uvu.edu/thenoorda.