Two ensembles shine

Conductor Carmen Dominquez (Ariana Hernandez/LARIAT STAFF)

The Saddleback College Wind Ensemble and Irvine Valley College Wind Symphony performed a joint concert on Saturday composing of up sassy tangos and victorious marches.

“I’m ecstatic at our performance. All in all every did their part,” said Billy Campbell, 21, music.

Campbell is among one of the eight students chosen to perform at the 2010 College Band Directors National Association Intercollegiate Band at the Western and Nothwestern Divisions Regional Conferences at University of Nevada, Reno in March.

Opening up the show with humor, Conductor Carmen Dominguez said jokingly, “there’s only one thing wrong here, it’s not at Saddleback College.” The crowd laughed as Dominguez continued, “It’s a beautiful theater with great acoustics, exactly how it should sound.”

For the past three years, the IVC music hall was not finished, ensembles had to play someplace else.

The Saddleback College Wind Ensembles played pieces such as the uplifting Wind Spirits, passionate Vientos Y Tangos and glorious dedication of Give Us This Day vibrated throughout the auditorium with the percussion and wind instruments. 


Each song was long filled with complex detailed measures and scales to produce a terrific sound lyrical sound.  

To wrap up their portion of the show, the Army of the Nile march was played.

“I just love marches-they make me so happy.” Dominguez said as she conducted the final piece, which was supposed to be a Tubas players dream march.

After the applause, Dominguez went backstage to address the ensemble.

“You all played really damn fine.  You played beautifully for a wonderful concert! You should feel good about yourselves. You pulled back when we slipped and played wonderfully! Be proud of yourselves!” Dominguez said.

Each song featured a clarinet solo from Maryanne McNamara as she dominated the solos with perfection.

McNamara, a retired professor and clarinet soloist from Saddleback’s Wind Ensemble said, “When playing a solo, I feel relaxed and at ease and sometimes it’s nerve-racking. It’s fun, challenging and I am so happy I had the opportunity to play.”

McNamara is proud to work with such a good group and talented composer, “Dominguez is an accomplished director and provides challenging music for us. I love how the pieces were all beautiful and varied.”  McNamara said, thanking Dominguez for all of her hard work.

Next, IVC was up on the stage to perform their second half of the show.  Their pieces offered a different dimension from the deep bass to echoing crystal glass. The IVC Wind Symphony played shorter pieces with precise detail.

“The Engulfed Cathedral” faced slow start, followed by a climax as the underwater Cathedral reveals itself and vanishes back into the deep ocean. 

 To add a unique sound, crystal wine glasses were used in “Crystals” to create an echoing sound by filling the glasses up with water and circling the finger around them precisely.

 “Every year, one music student gets the opportunity to conduct. IVC focuses on letting the students explore more aspects of music such as conducting and composition as well as playing.” Edward Park, 21, music, said.

“We invest a lot of energy in music students.”IVC Music Director Stephen M. Rochford said, as he handed the composing over to Edward Park, a student composer, for a pretty lyrical piece “Air for the Band”.

“I feel really happy and proud to get the opportunity to conduct,” Park said after watching his marvelous conducting. “I was scared I’d get something wrong, but it comes with experience.  I’d definitely do it again.”

Students from Saddleback traveled to IVC to support their ensembles. “I am a fan of Carmen Dominguez’s work. I’ve been to a lot of her concerts and what she does is really great and exciting,” Music major, Michelle Cowell, 18, said in the audience.

President Todd A Burnett and IVC president were also in attendance.

Scholarships were announced at the conclusion of the concert.  Mathieu Giradet, Jeff Ramos, Keith Ransons and Ross Sellers were among the Tonya Reed Gardener Memorial Endowed Music Scholarship recipients for their musical excellence.


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