IC Wind Band are not among the societies the majority of students at Imperial think of when they think of the various concerts that take place at the end of term. As a general rule their concerts are short, lunchtime concerts with little publicity and a correspondingly small audience. However, after the publicity generated when their Christmas term concert was forced on to the Queen's Lawn after a room booking problem, they decided that this term's concert would be an evening concert.
The short, free concert was conducted by Wind Band's usual conductor, Gilly French, to a larger than expected audience. First on the programme was the "Egmont Overture" by Beethoven. This is not, in this reporter's opinion, the most thrilling piece of music; however the wind band played it agreeably, capturing the moody feeling at the beginning well. There were some inaccuracies in the oboes and clarinets, mostly caused by a lack of confidence and from the mood change their confidence increased and there were far fewer errors. The brass and percussion played competently throughout and the percussion led the rest of the band to a good climax.
The next piece was Gregson's "Tuba Concerto", with solo tuba player Kiran Ganesh (a first year mathematician) who played superbly throughout this modern and difficult piece of music. The first movement consisted of a fanfare from the band interrupted by more melodic sections from the soloist. The second movement was more contemplative with a lovely sound from the muted brass. This got more and more intense, then died away, the clarinets being particularly musical at the end of the movement. The third movement had a more upbeat feel than the previous movements and was almost cheerful. The tuba soloist seemed less comfortable at the beginning of this challenging movement and the band was a little insecure in the faster sections. The movement changed to a more "bluesy" feel with a theme that was passed around the sections of the band leading to a thrilling cadenza from the solo tuba. Following this all the instruments were brought in gradually, building up to an exciting finale rounding off this diverse piece.
The third item in the programme was John Williams's "Symphonic Marches", arranged by John Higgins. This was full of familiar tunes, for instance from the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films and the band were obviously enjoying themselves. The brass really excelled in this, with very animated trombones in the Star Wars section. There was also some excellent piccolo playing at the end of this well known and fun inclusion to the programme.
Following a rather long gap as the percussion rearranged themselves, was "Fantasy on British Sea Songs" by Gordon Langford. This was played confidently by the entire band. This reporter particularly liked the way the tunes were bounced between the sections in the faster sea shanties and the beautiful tone from the band in the slower tunes.
Next up was Derek Bourgeois' "Serenade for Wind Band". This is a simple sounding piece of music with a lovely, lilting tune that starts off in one instrument then gradually increases in volume and complexity as more and more join in. These then gradually leave and the sound returns to its original simplicity.
The finale to the concert was "Send in the Clowns" from the Sondheim's musical "A Little Night Music" arranged by Jerry Nowak. This was very enjoyable and involved some very intense playing from the woodwind and an emotive trumpet solo, a fitting end to a good concert.
Based on this evening's entertainment, this reporter would recommend attending any of the Wind Band's future concerts and hopes that more publicity will be available for future events, leading to many more fine and well attended concerts.