Cal Poly Bandfest!
Featuring Boston Brass
DateNov 9, 2023
Event Starts7:30 PM
LocationHarold Miossi Hall
Doors Open1 hour prior
Boston Brass will be the guest ensemble of Cal Poly Bands for the Bandfest concert.
Bandfest is the event that launches the season of concerts presented by the band program, and it’s the one time each year when three Cal Poly Bands are featured on stage: Mustang Band, Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra.
Vinayak Sharath, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major, plays percussion and tenor saxophone in the bands. “I attended Bandfest as an audience member in 2019,” the San Jose, California, resident said. “I remember being enveloped in the fullness of the bands’ sound, and that’s what made me audition the very next quarter. Now, I'm proud to say this is my third year being able to play in all ensembles featured in the show!”
The world-famous Boston Brass will perform alongside the ensembles as well as treat the audience to its own set on the program.
“From before the start of the quarter, our students have been providing music and spirit for university and athletic events,” Director of Bands Christopher J. Woodruff said. “With Bandfest, those 300 students will get to share their work with an audience gathered in a beautiful space. And we are delighted to welcome back Boston Brass to share their expertise with our students. Our audience will be blown away by the musicianship that all will bring to Miossi Hall!”
Among the works on the program is Brian Balmages’ “A House Divided.” The piece was inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives, and it uses melodic fragments of “My Country ’Tis of Thee” to represent perspectives of American identity coming together in conversation.
Katahj Copley’s new “Serenade” for nine winds and brass is also featured on the program. Across four contrasting movements, the piece relates a tale including heartbreak, first dates and of love found again.
John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” will be presented by the Wind Ensemble. The march is the most widely recognized and performed of his works. In 1987, through an Act of Congress it was adopted as the national march of the U.S.
At the conclusion of the first half, the concert bands will come together in a jazz medley arranged by Dave Becker that will feature Boston Brass. Becker is a lecturer at Cal Poly who is directing the University Jazz Band this year. He also teaches at nearby Cuesta College and at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
The 220-member Mustang Band will conclude the concert with arrangements of popular music the group is performing at this fall’s football games in Mustang Memorial Field Presented by French Hospital. Along with traditional school songs, the band will perform music by Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.
In recognition of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the program will include selections honoring military veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Since 1986 Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience featuring colorful classical arrangements, burning jazz standards and the best of original brass repertoire. The ensemble treats audiences to a unique brand of musical entertainment that bridges the ocean of classical formality, delighting regular concertgoers and newcomers alike with great music and boisterous fun in performances across all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries to date.
The concert will be conducted by Woodruff and Associate Director of Bands Nicholas P. Waldron.