Wind Ensemble, Chamber Singers perform for “A Dream within a Dream”

David Saveanu

Staff Writer

Parkland’s Wind Ensemble and Chamber Singers put on a joint spring concert titled “A Dream Within a Dream” on May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Harold and Jean Miner Theater.

The Parkland Chamber Singers are directed by Miranda M. Rowland and the Parkland Wind Ensemble by Jonathan Becket. Both are music professors at parkland.

The concert was free, and open to all members of the community.

The Parkland Wind Ensemble “presents two concerts per semester,” said Becket. The preparation that goes into the concerts is “about six rehearsals of two hours each.”

There are 25–30 members in the Parkland Wind Ensemble, according to Becket.

Becket, as the director of the wind ensemble, chooses the songs. This year they played a wide variety.

“‘Powerhouse’ by Raymond Scott,” says Becket, naming some of these songs. “This is a fun piece that has been featured in Bugs Bunny cartoons,” he says. “‘My Kind of Towns’ is a medley of songs about American cities arranged by the great Sammy Nestico. ‘A Colonial Collage’ is a patriotic sounding composition that is optimistic. The whimsical and futuristic ‘Burlesque for Band’ is an interesting and fun piece by the well-known band composer Clare Grundman.”

Rowland, director of the chamber singers, chose the songs to be featured in their half of the concert. The event featured ‘Nobody Turn Me Around’ and ‘Go Down Moses (Let My People Go);’ the jazz standard ‘When I Fall in Love;’ folk tunes ‘Closer to the Flame’ and ‘Big Sky;’ a Latin piece titled ‘Festive Sanctus;’ a poetry selection, ‘A Dream within a Dream;’ and the Irish blessing ‘May the Road Rise Up.’

The chamber singer’s accompanist was Sunny Choo.

Danny Pappageorge, a Parkland student attending the concert, said he enjoyed the variety and passion produced by the two groups.

“This was my first time attending a Parkland concert, and I enjoyed the different variety of music,” he said. “Some songs had a very funhouse sort of theme, others were more passionate, and others taking on an Americana sort of theme. I liked seeing the two mediums of music alongside one another; it was very interesting to see. It was a good time.

“I think the two songs I enjoyed the most were by the [chamber] singers; it was ‘Closer to the Flame’ and the other folk song [Big Sky]. I think the folk songs and the variety of wind instruments sounded great.”

The theme of the concert revolved around the poem “A Dream within a Dream,” and the song selections by both music program directors held a similar dream-like ambiance. The songs were diverse in style, by both the wind ensemble and the chamber singers, but shared a similar mood.

The wind ensemble plays two concerts per semester; along with the two concerts, Becket said they “also play before the honors convocation” which is happening at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18, and before commencement, also on Thursday, May 18 at 7:20 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Krannert Center on the University of Illinois campus.

If you have any questions about Parkland’s Wind Ensemble, you can contact Becket, at jbeckett@parkland.edu; if you have any questions about the Parkland Chamber Singers you can contact Rowland at mrowland@parkland.edu.

For more information on Parkland’s music program, visit faa.parkland.edu and click on “Music” under the “Fine & Applied Arts” heading.