Last Friday, the Yuba College theater was jam packed. And for good reason.
In case you had missed it, the Yuba College Symphony had performed their final instrumental for the Spring semester. It had a set designed to bring forth the blooming of the season, opening the evening with an Olympic-like fanfare.
They moved on to perform the first movement of Frank Ticheli’s “San Antonio Dances.” The highlight of the night came when the band performed music from Disney’s The Incredibles. It had moments where you wanted to get up and shake it.
Dr. Miller then took stage as the guest conductor to give us a spooky performance of “Ghost Train,” written by Eric Whitacre. This piece hit the audience really deep inside. It was ghastly. It was chilling. And it was effective. Just a wonderful piece all around.
The symphonic band then closed their set with an Irish piece, “”At Kitty O’Shea’s,” and took the audience on a roller-coaster of sensations, going from a relaxing ambiance to a need-to-dance beat. Every measure played with this piece was as important as the last. This piece really showed off the talents of the band members.
And for those who stayed after intermission, we were bestowed with performances by the Yuba College Jazz ensemble. They closed the evening with music that everyone should definitely enjoy more often than not.
Unfortunately, it seemed that the lighting inside the theater leaves a lot of room to desire. The audience area was just too dark while the stage was extremely bright. It felt more like sitting through a movie rather than a atmospheric performance. And during the ghostly performance, the flashing lights used to imitate an ongoing train seemed to be blinding the musicians. A minor setup for everyone, but hopefully the tech crew can learn what works through various experiments.
A standing ovation to band members and our fellow colleagues. Many thanks to Jennifer Aldridge for directing the bands, and for giving us exceptional music. Also, special thanks to Dr. Miller for his collaboration.