The Sound Alliance’s unified performance

Photo credit: Grady Ellsworth

On Tuesday, March 2, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Sound Alliance livestreamed their first concert of the semester from the Ruth H. Barrus Concert Hall.

The concert included pieces of music from the Grammy award-winning composer Maria Schneider with songs such asLately” and “Dance You Monster to My Soft Song.” The concert also featured original scores from the director of Sound Alliance, Mark Watkins.

Those that streamed the concert Tuesday night experienced a bit of a contrast in musical styles with the five pieces being presented. The musical scores, from both Watkins and Schneider, were expected by members of the Sound Alliance to both complement and clash with each other.

“The third piece that we’re doing by Maria Schneider is called ‘Lately,’ and it’s a little bit lighter, with more of a swing feel to it,” Watkins said. “It kind of compensates the other two pieces that are intense.”

The concert featured various student soloists from different instrumental ranges such as guitar, alto saxophone and many others.

“We have quite a few good soloists in the band,” Watkins said. “The trombone player is working on something. We have a tenor sax player that’s doing a really good job, so we have a lot of student soloists throughout the concert.”

Along with musical preparation for Tuesday, Watkins and other members of the Sound Alliance had to take certain precautions in order to stay in line with COVID-19 standards.

“They keep their masks on when they’re not playing, and they have bell covers that stretch over the bells of the instrument to limit the amount of projection and particles,” Watkins said. “All the instruments are distanced. We have to have 12 feet in between trombones and then we have to have 6 feet in between saxophones and trumpets and all other rhythm section instruments.”

The Sound Alliance will be livestreaming another concert on March 30. For those interested in becoming a part of the Sound Alliance in future semesters, woodwind auditions will take place on the first day of classes, and the rhythm section auditions will be on the second and third days of classes. Contact Watkins for more information.