The BYU-Idaho symphony performed works by John Philip Sousa Feb. 5 in the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall in honor of Presidents Day.
“I thought it was fantastic. I’m a big Sousa fan and all these songs were very patriotic,” said Jordan Newman, a freshman studying music.
The symphony played songs such as “The Washington Post” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
“It was a lot of fun,” said Sessilia Placheta, a freshman studying music education, and a member of the symphony.
“It was a lot of work, but overall it was a great experience,” Placheta said.
Joining the symphony was Brian Bowman, a musician who has played for both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.
He played several songs on the ehonium. At one point, he put a sock over his playing hand, so that only his index finger was visible. He played an entire song with just that finger. The song was faster than any of the other ones he played during the performance.
“I originally came for a class, but it was really enlightening,” said Preston Gilbert, a sophomore studying business management.
He said his class has been talking about the same kinds of music.
“There were many baroque elements, and that’s one thing we’ve been talking about,” Gilbert said.
At the end of the concert, some of the performers stood from their chairs and walked to the front of the stage, where they continued to play their instruments.
Toward the end of the final song, a large American flag came down from the ceiling and hung to cover the entire back wall. The audience rose from their seats and stood while the last part of the song was played.
“The patriotic part of it was awesome. There was a sense of unity when everyone stood for the last part,” Gilbert said.