Symphonic Winds to perform with Baldwin High School

Story by Victoria Bostick, Writer

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Baker Symphonic Winds and the Baldwin High School Symphonic Winds are coming together for a joint performance. The two will be performing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Baldwin Performing Arts Center.

Director of Bands Frank Perez met with Baldwin High School Band Director Will Cooper this past fall to discuss doing a joint concert.

“Something I really enjoy is working with the high school students,” Perez said. “Obviously it is a great recruiting tool for us because what it does is it helps the high school students be around the college students.”

Each band will take turns performing various pieces and combine for the final three songs.

“We are going to combine both groups and do a piece that has electronic soundtrack and band. It is just going to be really cool,” Perez said.

The second-to-last piece will be conducted by Cooper and will involve both trombone sections. Former BU Director of Bands Ray James will conduct a number as well.

“Mr. Ray James, who [was] the band director here at Baker, just got promoted to emeritus associate professor of music, which is a really wonderful distinction, so he is going to come out and conduct the final number for the concert,” Perez said.

James will be conducting both bands for the final number of “Home On The Range.”

“[It] is going to be real special for us to have him come and conduct,” Perez said.

The two bands have been practicing separately but will have a group rehearsal prior to the concert. Perez sees this as a wonderful opportunity for both the high school students and the band at Baker.

“We know what Rice Auditorium sounds like,” Perez said. “It is a wonderful hall, but part of the educational experience for college students as performers it is always great for them to work with different conductors so they get a variety of different approaches and styles and teachings.”

The selected venue will allow both groups to play in front of a new audience and gain yet another new experience.

“The auditorium we are going to play in will bring a new set of performance challenges for us to figure out how to sound the best in that space,” Perez said. “It is always good for them to play in different venues. It also puts us in front of a different audience.”

Junior Dante Simmons will be among the trombone players at the concert and hopes the high school students are just as excited as he is.

“I think it will be really fun playing with them and I also think that it will be a good recruiting opportunity,” Simmons said. “I played there once before with the jazz band, and honestly I was a little jealous of how nice it was compared to Rice or McKibbin.”

Freshman Mariah Quinn shares Simmons feelings about playing at the Baldwin Performing Arts Center.

“It is so big and has way different acoustics than Rice Auditorium,” Quinn said. “Music gets swallowed up easier but the outcome and sound being pushed into the audience seems to be much richer.”

Like Simmons, she hopes that the high school students will be excited.

“I think the students are most likely nervous. If I was in their shoes I would be as well,” Quinn said. “It is a new group of people they are not used to performing with. I would be scared to mess up but, I know they will do great.”