Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Enjoying the Mountains Through Music

If you love the mountains, you would have loved the Laramie County Community College’s Wind Symphony’s “Mountains” concert on Tuesday night at the Civic Auditorium.

Clamoring onto the stage, the craftily formed “Trash Can Ferrets” carried out all sizes of trash cans and buckets, complete with lids, and performed a wonderful musical number that even had my eight-month granddaughter mesmerized. Like most very small children, she doesn’t necessarily have a very long attention span, but the consistent, rhythmic banging of sticks on cans, lids on lids, and lids on ground kept her attention.

Soon, we were traveling to Colorado and Red Rocks, where the Ensemble began the mountain tour, playing "Red Rock Fanfare."

Then, we traveled way south to listen to the music of the Quechua people of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. "Volver a la Montaña" (Return to the Mountain), gently reminded me of la musica Andina (music from the Andes) that I fell in love with when I lived in Chile.

After listening to the last remnants of the flute and piccolo, we trundled across the big ocean to listen to the eruption of "Vesuvius" once again, only this eruption was wonderfully delightful music called Vesuvius.

The dancing of the citizens of Pompeii grew quieter and quieter until we had floated back across the great deep to attend an Appalachian wedding while we vigorously tapped our feet to the "Haste to the Wedding," a beautiful wedding jig from “Appalachian Dances.”

Our bobbing of the heads carried us to Lake Tahoe and the “Golden Sierra Reflections,” moving us from the quiet serenity of the banks of the picturesque lake front to the higher, majestic elevations where perhaps Joe, Hoss, Adam, and Ben Cartwright once rode stoic in their saddles across that gorgeous scenic Nevada front.

From stunning lake to Mount Rushmore loomed even larger in the horizon with the Wind Ensemble playing "Rushmore," with the brass and baritones blaring first, long and loud, calling all to come forward and bask in the glorious majesty of the presidential heads. Soon, “America the Beautiful” sneaked into the fray and buoyed us up and filled us with unwavering patriotism.

Soon, though, the mountainous music seeped into the darkness, quietly at first and then just a think wisp of a memory remained, leaving all of us in attendance with the feeling that night was exquisite.

We especially appreciate the importance of community members participating with the students in bringing to our community such rapacious music from the mountains.

Thank you, Laramie County Community College Wind Symphony and Gary Hall, and the delight you give to Cheyenne.

3 comments:

HJKeller said...

You should turn this into Wingspan, that way, you could save a reporter from having to write the story. Because, let's be honest, no one could write this better than you!

HJKeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrel L. Hammon said...

Thanks, Hailey. I did send this to the paper as a letter to the editor and to Gary Hall. He asked if he could send it to the rest of the Symphony members, and I told him yes. If the paper publishes this essay, great. If not, at least the rest of the LCCC musicians have a copy, and that is probably the most important group. It was fun to write. Unfortunately, I don't get to do that as often as I would like.