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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesUVI CONCERT: AS CLOSE TO PRO AS IT GETS

UVI CONCERT: AS CLOSE TO PRO AS IT GETS

The human expression at the Reichhold Center for the Arts Sunday night was upbeat, uplifting and of superior quality. The University of the Virgin Islands Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble and Concert Choir performance to open Humanities Festival 2000 and celebrate Charter Day was accompanied by a cricket chorus and illuminated by the full moon.
The audience of mostly family and friends had to feel very proud. As a teacher mandated over 30-some years to attend many a student performance, I've heard enough screeching violins, dropped cymbals and sputtering trumpets to become quite discriminating. This was as close to truly professional as it gets.
The selections were creative, smoothly presented and obviously enjoyed by the performers as well as the audience. Having all of the performers onstage throughout the whole concert made for quick and quiet transitions from one number to the next. Several students participate in more than one music unit.
Choir director Lorna Young-Wright continues to present unique and creative selections with the wonderful voices that are hers to train. Their historical presentation of "The Saints Go Marching In" went from an English madrigal to a turn-of-the-(previous)-century New Orleans funeral. The spirited versions of "We Sing with Joy" and "I Wanna Make Music" were pure delight.
The Pan Ensemble under the direction of Aben Marrero improves with each performance. For this concert the pan players demonstrated a rendition of Handel's "Hornpipe" which they had performed in Puerto Rico earlier this month.
The ever-popular Jazz Ensemble thrilled the audience with "Killer Joe," and "My Funny Valentine" with Charlone Richardson doing the vocal. Martin Lamkin's solo in the final number, "Ahunk Ahunk," showed the talent that brings out the students' best.
Band director Austin Venzen had the students laughing into their instruments with his dance interpretation of "Livin' La Vida Loca." The videotape his wife made of his performance should liven up many a family reunion for years to come.
Other popular Concert Band selections were "Where the Black Hawks Soar," "A Legacy in Sound" and a selection of classic television themes. For the finale, John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" was accompanied by a Boy Scout color guard of flags. Maybe next time the encore can be the "The Virgin Islands March."
UVI Humanities faculty member Gene Emanuel served as announcer for the evening. His narration of "Until Justice Rolls down Like Water" once again reduced me to tears. I'm convinced he could narrate the telephone book with emotion.
Here in the Virgin Islands, it takes a community to give this quality of performance. The gray heads and bald ones sprinkled among the performers are a tribute to the fact that one's love of music doesn't end with graduation. These more mature participants also raise the standard for the students to emulate. Year after year, the various musical units could not be complete without the inclusion of these volunteers.
When the dates are announced, mark your calendar for next December's UVI Christmas Concert and next spring's Charter Day Concert. You don't know what you're missing if you haven't already discovered the wonderful talents that grow among us.

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The human expression at the Reichhold Center for the Arts Sunday night was upbeat, uplifting and of superior quality. The University of the Virgin Islands Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Steel Pan Ensemble and Concert Choir performance to open Humanities Festival 2000 and celebrate Charter Day was accompanied by a cricket chorus and illuminated by the full moon.
The audience of mostly family and friends had to feel very proud. As a teacher mandated over 30-some years to attend many a student performance, I've heard enough screeching violins, dropped cymbals and sputtering trumpets to become quite discriminating. This was as close to truly professional as it gets.
The selections were creative, smoothly presented and obviously enjoyed by the performers as well as the audience. Having all of the performers onstage throughout the whole concert made for quick and quiet transitions from one number to the next. Several students participate in more than one music unit.
Choir director Lorna Young-Wright continues to present unique and creative selections with the wonderful voices that are hers to train. Their historical presentation of "The Saints Go Marching In" went from an English madrigal to a turn-of-the-(previous)-century New Orleans funeral. The spirited versions of "We Sing with Joy" and "I Wanna Make Music" were pure delight.
The Pan Ensemble under the direction of Aben Marrero improves with each performance. For this concert the pan players demonstrated a rendition of Handel's "Hornpipe" which they had performed in Puerto Rico earlier this month.
The ever-popular Jazz Ensemble thrilled the audience with "Killer Joe," and "My Funny Valentine" with Charlone Richardson doing the vocal. Martin Lamkin's solo in the final number, "Ahunk Ahunk," showed the talent that brings out the students' best.
Band director Austin Venzen had the students laughing into their instruments with his dance interpretation of "Livin' La Vida Loca." The videotape his wife made of his performance should liven up many a family reunion for years to come.
Other popular Concert Band selections were "Where the Black Hawks Soar," "A Legacy in Sound" and a selection of classic television themes. For the finale, John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" was accompanied by a Boy Scout color guard of flags. Maybe next time the encore can be the "The Virgin Islands March."
UVI Humanities faculty member Gene Emanuel served as announcer for the evening. His narration of "Until Justice Rolls down Like Water" once again reduced me to tears. I'm convinced he could narrate the telephone book with emotion.
Here in the Virgin Islands, it takes a community to give this quality of performance. The gray heads and bald ones sprinkled among the performers are a tribute to the fact that one's love of music doesn't end with graduation. These more mature participants also raise the standard for the students to emulate. Year after year, the various musical units could not be complete without the inclusion of these volunteers.
When the dates are announced, mark your calendar for next December's UVI Christmas Concert and next spring's Charter Day Concert. You don't know what you're missing if you haven't already discovered the wonderful talents that grow among us.