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Around The World with Rhode Island College’s Wind Ensemble

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Sh-Ron Almeida

Asst. Arts and Entertainment Editor

Photo taken by Sh-Ron Almieda

Rhode Island College was graced with the rousing orchestra of the Wind Ensemble on Thursday in Sapinsley Hall.

The concert was the Wind Ensemble’s second performance this semester. Concert number one took place in early October. In total, the Wind Ensemble holds four concerts every school year, and according to RIC’s website, “the Rhode Island College Wind Ensemble was recently hailed one of the most respected college wind bands in New England.” The band also rehearses twice a week: Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Conducted by Joseph Foley, the band performed several varieties of folk songs from Korea, Greece and Russia. The show began promptly with the band performing their opening song. Once they were finished, Foley introduced himself, and offered his audience a condensed history on each selection. As soon as he started displaying his maestro ability, it was obvious how hard he worked to spring this music to life.

Everyone in the orchestra knew how to handle their instruments. It was almost as if they were in sync with the conductor and paid close attention to his movements.

The entirety of these selections consisted of sweeping and uplifting folk songs similar to the melodies of marching bands at a parade. In fact, it reminded me of the critically acclaimed Joe Hisashi, a widely known japanese music director.

The drums played a crucial part in bringing that powerful thump to “Ukrainian colors,” a heartfelt tribute to a close friend of Foley’s, giving the selection an adventurous sound.

The saxophones, played by Bernado Cruz, Zachary Guatheir, Chris Hoskins, Olivia Landry and Konnor Kluzniak, contributed by supporting as a backdrop for the drums and the flutes, played by Kathleen Chappie, Jordyn Dorie, Jessica Gannon, Sofia Rosa and Samantha Tetlow, that keep a steady rhythm throughout the concert.

My mother, who I invited to the event, was reminded of scenes from the Godfather movie trilogy upon listening to the last two songs from the band.

The only gripe I had was how surprisingly short the concert was. As the ensemble was heating up in offering a lively, soaring performance, it ended as soon as it started. Overall, the RIC Wind Ensemble was a delightful experience that oozed nostalgia and inspiration through the instruments and to the audience.


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