On Saturday April 26, members of the community were treated to an awesome performance by the Yuba College Symphonic Band and the Jazz Band. The symphonic band was in top form, swinging into the night with legendary conductor W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues March,” and with the snare drums rolling and the brass section swinging, the night promised to please.
The band jumped into Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to ‘Candide,'” which is an immense piece that started strong and took listeners on a sonic journey. Then the band played “Incantation and Dance” by john Barnes Chance. This piece started slowly with a soft, beautiful part played by the woodwind section, then went through a series of sonic ups and downs. It was a dark piece that sounded beautiful at the same time.
During the symphonic band set the Clarity Clarinet Quartet played a few pieces. The Quintet, coached by Daina Nishimoto, consisted of Sara Cristy (Rio Americano High School), Donny Daniel (Rio Americano High School), Kurt Seifert (Sacramento Country Day School) and Yuko Takegoshi (Sacramento Country Day School).
In dedication to the memory of the Columbia Space Shuttle Crew and family, The Symphonic Band Played “Eternal Father, Strong To Save,” a naval hymm. The Yuba College Chamber Chorus joined the symphonic band for this number.
The show ended with Edward Victor Cupero’s “Honey Boys on Parade.” The crowd showed appreciation for the quality of this performance by giving the band a standing ovation.
Miller mentioned that there would be no orchestra next year due to the recent budget cuts. Miller said that in 30 years of teaching he has been through severe budget cuts twice and continued to pass on his optimism by saying the band would be back someday soon.
After a brief intermission, the Jazz Band took the stage and blew the crowd away. They played jazz classics such as “Now’s the Time,” “Star Dust,” “In the Mood,” “Cry Me a River” and more. The band consisted of sax players, a trumpet section, Ron Hake on drums, David Bole on bass, Larry Garvin on guitar and Howard Johnson on the piano. Special guest vocalist Bonnie Miller sang “Cry Me a River.”
“Now’s the Time” started with a swanky sax melody with the trumpets filling in. It had a groovy lazy drum beat and a moving bass line. On “Star Dust” Dr. Larry Miller played a slow bluesy trumpet solo. The Jazz Band concluded the evenings events with “Mambo Swing.” It was a smokin’ jam with trumpets firing like an all out assault. A spiffy guitar solo went into a trumpet solo, followed by two saxophone solos, back to a guitar solo and finishing off with an awesome drum solo.
Dr. Miller ended the night by saying, “Adults, keep the pressure on the boards of education. Don’t let them cut the music.”