Wind ensemble turns air into beauty

Ian Akerson

A loud cacophony of sound emitted itself in a soft, warm hum from the McKinney Theatre, Nov. 29. As the dissonance subsided into the gentle sound of tuning, the Saddleback College Wind Ensemble was ready to present “Looking Upward.”

The show began with a driving march entitled “In Storm and Sunshine,” a steady driving tempo song which announced to the audience the show had started, almost as if they were marching each listener into a world of music with hopes of pleasing all senses.

On top of appealing to the auditory sense, the Wind Ensemble, directed by Linda Price, also appealed to the visual sense with a large projection screen displaying pictures that added to the emotion of the music and gave each song a setting for the listener to be grounded to the world of music.

As the march concluded, the Ensemble lead the audience into the “Looking Upward” suite, a beautiful piece of music that brought emotions from fear to hope. The piece utilized every member of the ensemble to blend and create a wonderful sound.

The second movement brought what felt like an Eastern European Christmas with a feeling of warmth and gentle hope, pulling the audience deeper into the holiday feeling, while each listener traveled further down the forest of sound to the next destination on the trip.

With the suite over, Price stepped aside to allow Carmen Dominquez direct the ensemble for the score. “Giving” was another beautiful part of the auditory canvas the ensemble painted in the air for all to enjoy.

Following “Giving,” Price returned to conclude the show with the “Star Wars Trilogy.” A five part score by John Williams, any Star Wars fan would be squirming for. The all so famous theme song was brought to them by the incredible ability of the Ensemble to interpret Mr. Williams

Each song enhanced the one before it, making the show as a whole an entertaining night that never dragged on, despite what many might say about classical or orchestrated music.