The St.Cloud State Jazz Ensemble, consisting of thirteen musicians that night, inaugurated the event with a sophisticated version of Minor Chant by Stanley Turrentine arr. Terry White. The sounds of the instruments filled the whole room and made their way through our ears to our soul. I laid back in my seat and I felt how my body started to relax and I was enjoying the moment of music and nothing else. The Ensemble created a lounge atmosphere right away, and I would have loved to order a drink at a bar. Reality off, music dream world on.
Despite having some musicians missing the night because of having been intervened by last minute issues, the remaining and new students had made a quick adjustment and you couldn’t tell any lack of synchronization. Some of the students even played several different instruments which made them move after each song. The director of the Ensemble, Richard Manik, announced the students as partially music majors with some just joining the Ensemble for fun. With my competitive sports background, I haven’t been to any Jazz concerts before. The Tuesday night made me fall in love with the free-spirited type of music and my favorite song was the Minnesalsa composed and arranged by Ethan Freier. It vitalized my body and I felt like dancing. Very powerful and strong instruments performance by the whole group, I loved the keyboard and trumpet parts the most. The jazz typical saxophones also impressed me with their accuracy and sound diversity.
A five minutes break and some readjustments of the stage led into the second part of the evening program. The St. Cloud State Husky Sports Band was literally howling for the audience’s attention when entering the Ritsche Auditorium by running, splitting up into three groups, going through the aisles and joining the fourth group on the stage. Energetic and ostentatious, and with a large amount of people in the band it was a major contrast to the Jazz Ensemble before. By moving synchronously, they created a fluent motion and a fantastic stage setting. The wonderful and elegantly designed costumes were the cherry on top. The director, Glen Tuomaala, whose wife did all the uniform fitting, announced some of the most important musicians in the band, the seniors who have made a difference.
Their first song after the intro was one of my favorite. They performed Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson arr. Jay Bocook. The song reminded me of the movie Remember the Titans, the September 2000 released sports drama film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, was the perfect fit to the Husky Sports Band being part of all St.Cloud State football home games. Continuing with two very famous songs, Celebration and Ghostbusters, the band closed the circle to the howling, Indian American themed intro, with the performance of Blitzkrieg Bop, where they danced and imitated riding a horse around the blustering trumpets.
Following these intense and energizing songs, the band held Band Officer Recognition, Section Leader Recognition, as well as Perfect Attendance Recognition, which means that several students have ever missed a get-together of the St. Cloud State Husky Sports Band. After this calm and interesting section of recognitions, the band continued strong. Their performance of Pressure by Billy Joel arr. Jay Dawson and Jim Reed was a booster and lived up to the song’s name. Powerful and strong, precisely elaborated and underlined with synchronous movements and choreography.
The Husky Sports Band will be led by a new Drum Major after this fall semester. Joseph Brough did an outstanding and phenomenal job as a leader of the team and will now hand over the traditional silver cord and black jacket to the Drum Major elect Andre Brown. A powerful scene to finish the evening.
2016 is the year of the tenth anniversary of the existence of the Husky Sports Band. As an attendance gift of the evening, every spectator was handed over a special anniversary coin. The band is always happy and pleased about financial support and welcomes everyone to join their performances at the football stadium as well as at all basketball home games.