On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Concordia’s band gave their homecoming concert. Over spring break the band toured through Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The chamber ensemble began the concert with two pieces. The band played eight pieces, with a short intermission. Professor Isakson also shared interesting and funny stories from the band tour throughout the concert. I thought it was interesting that much of the music focused on America and aspects of American life. One of the pieces, “Buffalo Dances” was based on the beauty around Buffalo, Minnesota. Another piece, “Gathering Places,” was written in honor of the opening of the Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, and was based on gospel music from the Civil Rights period. Overall, it was an interesting and energized concert, with many upbeat pieces. I enjoyed listening to the music and supporting other Honors students and friends.
Last semester in Honors we learned about the five “ways of knowing.” These ways of knowing are revelation, emotion, reason, observation, and imagination, and through these we can find truth. I thought the band concert was a great demonstration of how the “ways of knowing” work together. Music falls into the category of imagination. The composers expressed ideas through their music, the musicians and director interpret the music in a way special to them, and the audience hears it in their own way. Pieces like “Communion” demonstrate one way revelation and imagination work together. The composer used his imagination to create a new piece of music based on a favorite and meaningful hymn. The music also affects the imagination and emotion of the audience. As my friend and I sat listening to the concert, we created stories based on how the music sounded. It was so fun to hear her stories, “It’s like Christmas shopping!” or “It sounds like a fairy workshop!” and compare them to my stories and the short descriptions of the songs written in the program. This showed me how even though the audience is hearing the same piece, our imaginations and emotions interpret it differently.
As I said earlier, I enjoyed Concordia’s band concert. Much of the music was upbeat and infused with emotion. Two of my favorite pieces were “Communion” and “American Flourish.” “Communion” was based on the Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision,” one of my favorite hymns. “American Flourish” incorporated many famous American tunes like “Yankee Doodle” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” I always enjoy going to the music events at Concordia because it is a fun and easy way to enjoy good, live music, and support my friends in their activities.