Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Concert Review and Lessons Learned

By Genevieve Buthod

This past Friday night, Saint Xavier’s jazz ensemble performed our final concert of the year in McGuire Hall. We played many lively songs, including recognizable titles like “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and “Well You Needn’t” by jazz greats Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk, respectively. We also played more subdued, mysterious tunes like “Stolen Moments” by the incredible Oliver Nelson from his famous album The Blues and the Abstract Truth. The energy in the room was tangible, not only because of the excitement from playing, but from the feeling the band created when we brought the songs out from the pages.

 Something about performing truly brings me to life as a musician. It is more than just personal enjoyment of a great song; it is the thrill of intense improvisations coming out of my horn, out of my body. It is my duty to share the best possible version of those songs that I can with the audience and with my fellow performers. Up on that stage, we all owe it to one another to put our hearts into our work. It requires an entire loss of personal ego. We have to forget ourselves and put ourselves into the group in the best way possible. We have to seamlessly meld our individual talents and motivations into one unified, if multifaceted, sound.

Playing in the jazz ensemble and other music ensembles at SXU reminds me that I can only do so much if I stand on my own. I play a monophonic instrument, which means that my saxophone can only play one note at a time, unlike a piano or a guitar.  Even when I’m soloing, I need everyone else in that band with me, holding up the chords alongside my lines, guiding me in the right direction. I would be absolutely lost without the bass notes showing me where I am in the form, without the horn section’s long low tones showing me where I’m headed next.

This final concert was a terrific opportunity to remind myself how much I need help when I’m trying to pull off something so much bigger than myself. Being an independent spirit, it’s nice to have direct proof in front of me that I truly need the input and support of the people around me. It is an important lesson to learn, and I am glad to be learning it through music. 

Hope to see you all at the Saint Xavier Orchestra concert this coming Wednesday, the 25th at 7:30 p.m. and the University Wind Ensemble Concert this Thursday the 26th at 7:30p.m. Both will take place in the old gym, the rehearsal space in the G-wing. Our last concerts of the year will be sure to draw in guests, and I hope our readers are among them!

See you then…

Genevieve Buthod is a sophomore, and a major in Computer Science with a minor in Philosophy. She is a happy and healthy vegan. She is also the TIAA-CREF Campaign Manager for Students for Justice in Palestine. Genevieve is the Senior Viewpoints Editor for the Xavierite.

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