Kaleidoscope concert finds new lens

Elsa Persson, Online Editor

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A classic band tradition comes back to the stage this year, bringing even more challenges to the students performing than past years. Though they pour in their hardest work, they strive to uphold a lighthearted theme: joy.

The Kaleidoscope concert is an annual fall concert that features all curricular bands. With this year’s concert taking place on Oct. 8, the concert is pushed to one of the earliest dates in the history of the tradition.

Out of the many band concerts taking place over the course of the school year, this concert is the first. It is split up into two concerts due to a large audience.

“It’s been different in the past, because last year was our first year with ninth graders, but starting last year it’s two concerts, and it switches,” senior Isabella Portelli added.

The concert features all bands that meet during the school day. This includes Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Symphonic Band. This is the only concert in the school year for which all five bands collaborate.

Photo by Elsa Persson
Band teacher Joel Bryan conducts rehearsal for the Kaleidoscope concert Oct. 8.

“Usually, you’ll just see the concert bands and then a separate one for percussion ensemble or jazz, in Kaleidoscope you have a lot of different ones,” junior Mitch Ardolf explained.

Each year’s concert has a unique theme. In the past, since the concert has been in the later part of October, the concert has had a Halloween theme. The theme for this year’s earlier concert is based around joy, featuring bright pieces called Joy, Prestissimo, A Little Tango Music, and a well-known favorite: Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

All of the music played will be “a spin off some theme of happiness,” band teacher Dennis Lindsay said.

Not only does an earlier date require a change of theme, planning for the concert before MEA break calls for a shorter rehearsal cycle. Students receive music to sight read and practice right at the second week of school.

Working in a short time frame requires a different level of focus and an awareness of the time frame, Lindsay explained.

The name of the Kaleidoscope concert comes from the blending of phrases of music. Like a kaleidoscope changes pictures, the audience sees different pieces of music on different parts of the stage.

“You know how kaleidoscopes change your picture as you go through it? For an hour, we basically change the stage. It constantly spins from a small group on this side, to something behind the curtain, to another solo part, and it constantly changes perspective,” Lindsay explained.

You know how kaleidoscopes change your picture as you go through it? For an hour, we basically change the stage. It constantly spins from a small group on this side, to something behind the curtain, to another solo part, and it constantly changes perspective.”

— Dennis Lindsay

The band instructors are choosing music for the concert while considering both fundamentals and themes of joy. To be qualified, pieces should be uplifting and engage the audience.

When looking for music, the band teachers believe that the most important aspect is “finding music with a lot of emotion within the context of setting the fundamentals,” band teacher Joel Bryan explained.

Working with a large group of ensembles in a short amount of time requires collaboration. This creates a cooperative and encouraging environment of performing students, which allows them to bond.

Rehearsing with each band group together “shows how big and supportive of a community the band department is,” sophomore Elsa Martin said.

Since all curricular bands perform on the same stage, a wide variety of music and multiple distinct sounds are heard through the concert. One of the special aspects of the concert is the blending of tunes.

When the bands perform together, “there’s similarities and differences that you can see easily,” Ardolf added.

This year will bring a refreshing twist to the traditions of the Kaleidoscope concert. “If you can’t make it to a concert at all, this one, I think, is one of the best ones,” Portelli added.

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