By Cliff Djajapranata,
Concert bands from all over Davis performed in their annual Band Festival at the Brunelle Theater that started on Friday, April 11 and will go through Saturday.
The Davis High Concert and Symphonic Bands each gave presented their own repertoire this evening, and two adjudicators, Art Holt and Stuart Sims, adjudicated their performances.
While only Davis bands are participating in the festival, the original plan was to include ensembles from Woodland; however, the three Woodland schools backed out due to conflicts, resulting in six less performances during the festival.
While one of the schools backed out some time ago to give event planners ample time to reschedule, the other two schools had just backed out in the last minute, which did not give planners any time to redraw performance times for the participatory groups, according to DHS band director Tom Slabaugh.
However, Friday’s performances continued with the Concert and Symphonic Bands, with the Symphonic Band premiering its new piece, “Afraid of Love,” that was commissioned to the DHS bands by composer Garret Shatzer, a former student of Slabaugh.
Shatzer based the piece on Louise Glück’s poem, “Crater Lake,” and was also able to directly work with the Symphonic Band to better translate his ideas to the ensemble, an experience that is a special opportunity, according to Slabaugh.
“That’s one of those things that you don’t get to do most of the time in high school. Very few high schools get a chance to, and I mean very few high schools, [get a chance to work with the composer on a piece of music,] and it usually takes until you get to college—and sometimes you don’t get to do that. So, it’s a really special moment and kind of cool that we got something that was written for us,” Slabaugh said.
Ultimately, Slabaugh hopes that the bands will be able to take what they have learned from the adjudication and apply them to the classroom
“Everybody brings to music different sets of skills, knowledge and experience. So, it’s always good to share knowledge with others and hear what other people have to say about it,” Slabaugh said.