The Most Ambitious Crossover: Symphonic Band and Choir

A popular Internet meme in 2018, “’Avengers: Infinity War’ is the most ambitious crossover event in history,” highlighted how fans anticipated the climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its 10-year plan to unite its superheroes in one movie. Others may challenge this and recall the crossover “Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” or maybe even the old Disney Channel television special “That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana”—but if you ask me, the greatest crossover event in history was the Symphonic Band and Choir Concert held this past Friday, February 22.

Jokes aside, the combined concert between the band and the choir was a sight to behold for the audience in Weaver Chapel; the passion of each one of the students reverberated off its great walls and combined to make a performance best described as awesome in the literal sense of the word.

This was the first combined concert within the Wittenberg Music Department in around 10 years, so it is pretty much the Marvel Cinematic Universe—except nobody turned into dust at the end.

The concert occurred in three acts, much like a piece of music itself. But instead of a curmudgeon European composer at the helm, the audience found professor Brandon Jones conducting the choir and professor Erik Zinter conducting the ensemble.

First, the two launched into a piece titled “Unclouded Day,” arranged by Shawn Kirchner with lyrics longing for homes far beyond the skies and lands of cloudless days.

The choir then performed two sets entitled “The Human Spirit” and “The Spirit Ascended,” which they will also perform on their upcoming Midwestern Tour. Both sets (each comprised of four pieces) were quite fitting for the spring context in which they will be sung. They extend a jubilance and an introspective nature that will surely be in the lives of many college students during spring break.

Second, the band took the stage and performed two compositions focused on the primal human instinct of dance. The Renditions of “Courtly Airs and Dances” by Ron Nelson and “Ridikum” by Jan Van der Roost not only proved the band’s ability to combine different cultures from around the world with the universal language of music, it also proved that Springfield, Ohio could not be more different than the town from “Footloose.”

Third, and finally, it was the crossover event we had all been waiting to see. Before beginning the first piece entitled “Sleep,” Jones welcomed Zinter to the podium and said, “The piece can be done either with just choir or just ensemble… and I don’t think I could ever do it without the choir. It just adds so much to the music.”

It bears repeating that both pieces performed in tandem were epic. The Song and Dance concert was a testament to the immense talent of the students and the directors of the Wittenberg Department of Music. Be on the lookout for shows in the second half of the semester.

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