Brass Band, Pipe Organ and the Moody Blues

We are lucky to live in an area that has so much to do within driving distance, cultural centers, performance halls, and museums in more than one direction.  About 45 minutes away is the small town of Brevard, NC that boasts some of the best music venues and performances of the area.  It helps that fellow car club member Jamie Hafner is a conductor for the Blue Ridge Community Brass band, and often joins the students at the college as a guest conductor.  A couple of summers ago, I showed the outdoor pavilion of Brevard Music College during a Patriotic Pops Concert. Recently, we were invited to the Porter Center for the Performing Arts at Brevard College to hear the students perform works from several classical pieces, along with the Blue Ridge Community Brass band, again with some of the works conducted by Jamie. The real draw was they were going to perform a brass composition that would incorporate Brevard College’s spectacular pipe organ.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

This young man, Raleigh Durham, was the star of the second piece played, Snow of an Aynu Village by Hirokazu Fukushima.  This is a modern composition with an impressive percussion score.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

He moved between large drums, to cymbals, to the xylophone, and the gong along with everything else up at the front of the stage.  He had four music stands, and moved his score between them as he went along.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

Next our friend and conductor, Jamie Hafner, conducted the Canzon in Double Echo by Grabrieli written in 1608.  Jamie is facing the audience, because his players were in the balconies.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

On the left upper balcony, members began to play.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

Then on the right side, an echoing from other brass players.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

Behind us, also in the balcony, more players did their parts.  It is said that this piece was played in this manner originally in a church, taking advantage of similar balconies to create the first example of ‘stereo’ sound.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

The percussion section did an impromptu piece, not on the program, called Quench.  The players had bottles half filled with water, that they tapped on with drumsticks, bounced on the table and blew across the top to create an interesting blend of sound and rhythm.  As they played, they would drink from the bottles to change the pitch.  Quite unusual!

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

The full Brevard College Wind Ensemble joined the Blue Ridge Symphonic Brass on the stage for several more selections.

Brevard Porter Center Concert at From My Carolina Home

Then the finale piece, Adagio and Finale from Symphony No. 3 for Organ and Brass by Camille Saint Saëns written in 1886.  I shot a short video when the organ began to play. This does not do it justice, but you’ll get the idea.  You’ll see Jamie point to the left side of the balcony for the organist to play.  There is a small camera there presumably that shows the conductor on a screen where the organist can see it.  The best part is about halfway through this two-minute excerpt.  It brought on goose bumps!!  Just click on the arrow in the middle of the linked video to see it, it will play right here.

Then, my favorite all time group, the Moody Blues was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April of this year.  After so many years, it is about time!!  I often say they wrote the soundtrack for my college years.  Justin Hayward and John Lodge are such gifted songwriters.  It was a bit sad to see the rift continues between them and  Mike Pinder, also a talented keyboardist and songwriter.  The last concert I went to was in Asheville a few years ago to see them perform, and they still sounded great.  Unfortunately, the induction ceremony broadcast was on HBO, so I didn’t get to see it.  But thanks to youtube, here is the induction introduction by Ann Wilson of Heart.

Here’s the acceptance by the Moody Blues members.

Do you enjoy live music performances?

13 thoughts on “Brass Band, Pipe Organ and the Moody Blues

  1. Donna Weeks

    There are plenty of live music performances within a 2 hour drive from where we live, but we usually don’t get to many. On July 4th, the Navy Band will be having a concert in Ocala Florida. IF the weather hold out, we will be going to that. Thanks for sharing your concert experience. It certainly was great to read about.

  2. Lesley Gilbert

    I was a big fan of the Moody Blues in the 60’s and still have their first 2 LP’s and later buying on CD’s 🙂

  3. Debbie Miller Meyer

    Your Wildest Dreams was my favorite song of the Moody Blues! Wow! That brought back some memories!

  4. Sharon Schipper

    Oh my, the organ! the music is fabulous, and the melody is done in Babe, by the tiny mice singing… If I had a words to make a day for you, I’d sing you a morning glorious and new, I’d make it last for all times, give you a night deep in moon shine…
    earlier in the movie, the farmer sings it to Babe as a lullaby. I thought it was a folk song, but Camille SaintSaens makes it even better! Wish I could have sat with you, even on your video the sound is beautiful. Yes, love live music, last I went to was a performance by Riders in the Sky, which was also hilarious…

  5. Myrna Watson

    thank you so much for this post, enjoyed seeing the church organ and listen to all the wonderful music. The Hall of fame video was wonderful and fun. thank you, and what a great evening you must have enjoyed.

  6. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; How wonderful that you were able to go and listen to this lovely music. I really enjoyed the video you shared. I do not get to go to any types of performing, the sounds from all of the people and then from the music group is all to loud for my brain to handle. It saddens my heart, but saves on a lot of medical bills. LOL. Thank you for sharing and have a splendid day!

  7. I saw the Moody Blues about 3 years ago in Rochester, NY and they were as good as they were when I saw them in the 70s. I do like live performances a couple of big caveats- I hate the huge auditorium ones that the people on stage are smaller than ants and you watch the show on a Jumbotron- what is the point? The other is the trend to have performances in casinos- especially when they have no stage up higher and everyone sits flat on the floor with no stepped elevations- can’t see or hear them well. When a concert is at a true music venue, it is something to remember.

  8. oh I went to a moody blues concert in San Francisco, and it lives on as a highlight! we dont have the finances these days to attend live concerts, but those few I attended live on in my memory. so glad that the Moody Blues got the recognition they deserve.

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