Wind Ensemble ‘dances around the world’ at fall concert

The Loras College Wind Ensemble’s fall concert was a collection of dances, performed in the Fieldhouse on Thursday evening, Oct. 29.

wind ensembleConducted by Glenn Pohland, D.M.A., the program began with “Russian Sailor’s Dance,” by Reingold Gliere. The piece is from the ballet, “The Red Poppy,” and is about a mutiny of Russian Sailors aboard a Chinese ship. The next piece performed was Frank Ticheli’s “Sun Dance.” Loud and happy crashes brightened the already joyful song.

Dr. Pohland introduced the next song, “I’ve Made my Plans for Summer,” sung by guest soloist and vocal adjunct, Elizabeth Tyler. John Philip Sousa was known mostly for marches, but this was a jaunty waltz. Brahm’s “Hungarian Dance #5,” was performed next. This gypsy inspired song was performed by the clarinet choir.

“I didn’t know there were dancers on campus,” said Dr. Pohland, introducing dancers Lindsay Hottovy and Ashley Pudil, for the “Schuller Polka.” The two were both decked out in kroj, the traditional Czech outfit. Hottovy, a junior, has been a polka dancer for most of her life. Pudil, a sophomore, is the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Queen and is spreading her heritage around the state, including Loras.

Dmitry Shostakovich’s “Folk Dances,” was performed next, and is based on traditional Russian folk dances.

“If you always wanted to make other sounds during a piece of music, this is it,” said Pohland, instructing the audience to snap to selections from the musical “West Side Story.”

LeRoy Anderson’s “The Waltzing Cat,” was an audience favorite. Members of the band meowed to the rhythm of the song. Following this was a suite of American dances by Robert R. Bennet. Three separate movements were performed, “I. Cakewalk II. Schottische V. Rag.”
The final piece is part of a new tradition for Loras’ Wind Ensemble. Ending with a prayerful, “Doxology,” by Louis T. Bourgeois, the audience sang along.

“I think the polka was my favorite because it was interactive,” said sophomore Caitlin Hansen.

The Wind Ensemble will join the Loras choirs for their next major concert, “Mysteries of Christmas,” on Friday, Dec. 4, at Nativity Church, located on Alta Vista Street.

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