Ensemble produces classical symphonies

‘Relaxing’ sound waves engulf Knox Center Sunday


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Guest harpist Constance Koo precisely strums her instrument during the West County Winds musical performance organized by the music department in the Knox Center on Sunday.

By Jason Sykes, Assistant Sports Editor

The West County Winds’ appeasing sounds reverberated throughout the Knox Center during a free concert on Sunday.

The ensemble hosted the musical event at Contra Costa College, the first of two other concerts planned by the music department for the spring semester.

The WCW played classical songs from Richard Rogers to Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Music department Chairperson Wayne Organ and WCW’s Sue Crum conducted the symphonies.

Organ said. “This was a time for the community to come together and hear beautiful music.”

While the WCW includes some students, it consists of mostly professional musicians and teachers. The ensemble consisted of brass, percussion and woodwind players hailing from cities throughout the Bay Area.

The musicians had limited time to play with one another and had just seven rehearsals before the show.

Organ said, “(Musicians) do this for a living so (limited practice time) was not a problem.”

He said he invited some special guests to come to the event and speak about the different selections they were playing.

Among the speakers were Interim President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Athletic Director John Wade and Liberal Arts Division Dean Jason Berner.

As the ensemble began to play each piece from different composers the audience members were fully engulfed by soothing sounds.

Local resident Gabriel Soulman said, “I thought it was very nice, all of the wind instruments were very relaxing.”

The unique sound of the WCW captivated the audience as it did its best to cover many of the popular classics.

Soulman said if the performance were any longer it would have felt “dragged out.”

But contrary to what he said the concert may have been a little too short for some people’s desires. Another member of the audience Tom McWay said, “It could’ve been longer, but an hour and 15 minutes was just about right.” Every song selection that was played reflected an overall theme of relaxation.

The music was mostly soft but at times would become powerful with more emphasis on certain notes.

The relaxing sounds allowed the audience to escape their reality and enter a land full of peace. Soulman said, “I could see it as if I were on the sea.”

The concert appealed more toward an older generation. The audience was comprised of many friends and family members who came out to support the musician’s in the WCW musical ensemble.

The concert was a success for the department showing progress from previous events with less of a crowd.

Building off this momentum is something the music department hopes to continue to do.

Another upcoming Knox Center event for the music department is set for May 17.