WCJC Band presents a ‘Knight’ of Medieval selections April 1
Knights, castles and maidens are on the bill for the Wharton County Junior College Pioneer Band’s spring concert, scheduled for Tuesday, April 1 at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building at the Wharton campus.
The annual concert will feature selections from the well-known production, Camelot, as well as an original arrangement of Pevensey Castle by Band Director Joe Waldrop. Waldrop said the idea for the medieval theme came from reflections on his uncle, who traced the family genealogy back to 1642 and a Scottish nobleman.
“It got me thinking about it,” Waldrop said. “And I’ve always loved Celtic music.”
The concert will feature more than just a selection of songs. Waldrop said the band will perform a “tone painting,” which tells a story through music. This particular tale will center on a knight who has returned home from an exhilarating adventure. Each musical selection will be accompanied by an image projected on a white screen.
One of the pieces – Pevensey Castle – was named in honor of an English castle of the same name that has been in existence since the time of the Roman Empire. Waldrop arranged the music himself.
Some of the other selections were difficult as they were originally written for large groups. The Pioneer Band’s current roster is 11.
“I’ve got 11 people playing a piece of music written for 100,” Waldrop said, “but they’re doing really well with it.”
One of the advantages of a smaller group is that everyone has a chance to shine. Waldrop said practically every band member will tackle a solo and have a chance to “be in the spotlight.”
Waldrop is bringing in a guest drummer – Michael Garza – to fill out the sound for certain arrangements. Garza is a noted percussionist who has previously performed with popular Wharton County band Steel Country.
Pioneer Band members include Ryan Castellano on tuba, Roxanne Gangstad on flute, Chris Giesie on alto sax, Gabie Gonzales on tenor sax, Amy Joseph on flute, Caleb Korenek on trumpet, Miranda Machicek on alto sax, Kristen Navarro on flute, Gabriel Sharkody on baritone sax, Jimmy Shelton on baritone and Brittany Yates on euphonium.
“We have some great kids,” Waldrop said. “It’s going to be a great concert.”
The Pioneer Band Concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 1 at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building of the Wharton campus, 911 Boling Highway. The concert is expected to last about one hour. It is open to the public and admission is free.
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