Last night was the Canadian Celebration concert. Section players from around the country came and played in a large ensemble, as well as smaller groups and solos. There were no less than 22 pieces on the program, some with multiple movements. The standout was Vanessa Fralick playing a trombone solo with the Weston Silver Band. Now a student at Julliard, Vanessa started at the band's youth program. The concert was 3 1/2 hours long!
Tonight's concert, "Making Music Rocks!" (who thought up that cheesy title?), was even longer. Bella Tromba, a British Trumpet Quartet, started the eve with Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman. The program describes them as glamorous, and they do indeed wear what I would consider cocktail party gear. The playing was great, but the modern program was tiresome after a bit. The exciting group of the evening was the Japan Ladies Brass, a group of about 18 brass and 3 percussion. Just the name alone... The conductor, Mariko Yamamoto, announced each piece in somewhat broken English, but she got her point across. Later she joined a percussionist playing a fast 4 hand xylophone piece. And they did Hey Jude as an encore, so who can go wrong with that.
Carol Jantsch playing a Piazzolla Tango on Tuba with piano acc. was also outstanding. She played from memory and I see what they mean when they say she transcends the instrument. It was mesmerizing. Lots more tuba ensued, as well as horn duets. The last piece I heard was a McDougall concerto played by Julia McIntyre on Bass Trombone. She sounded great, and she had to play really late, so...even more great.
By this time it was 11:15pm and I couldn't stay awake for the remaining two groups. I'm sure they were fabulous and that the lusty audience gave them yet another standing ovation.