For Homecoming weekend, the music department will showcase the talent of the Cal Poly Wind Orchestra, the Cal Poly Wind Ensemble and the Cal Poly Mustang Marching Band at the 19th annual BandFest concert.
More than 200 musicians will share the stage at the Homecoming event titled “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue” set to begin at 8 p.m., Saturday.
“My wife and I have five children and three got married in less than a year and we heard ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ over and over so I though that would be a nice theme for a concert,” said William Johnson, music professor, band director and one of the conductors for BandFest.
But more than just a wedding tradition, the phrase rings true for this Cal Poly music extravaganza.
For instance, the Wind Orchestra will be playing “Suite in E-Flat” by Gustav Holst, which ties in with the “Something Old” theme of the night. The Mustang Marching Band will play everything from the ’70s and ’90s, to music from the Disney film “The Incredibles,” for the “Something New” portion.
“It has music for everybody from the classical to pep music that’s more recognizable for the audience,” said microbiology senior Elizabeth Ketterer, who is in her sixth year as the French horn player for the Mustang Marching Band.
Johnson explained, just like many other university bands, they will also borrow a lot of their music such as the piece called “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli, which completes the theme of the concert. University of Florida music professor and band director David Waybright will be the guest conductor for the piece.
For the finale, the Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra will come together to pay homage to the late Alfred Reed, famous musician and composer, who passed away in September.
“We’ve been playing his music for years and years around here so we’re doing a tribute to him to honor his legacy,” Johnson said.
The more than 150 musicians of the ensemble and orchestra will perform Reed’s “Russian Christmas Music.”
“It’s going to be a tremendous performance,” Johnson said. “I can’t imagine a student missing it.”
But the performance isn’t just a chance for Cal Poly students to see their fellow peers and professors at work, it’s an opportunity for the entire San Luis Obispo community to see and hear the musical side of Cal Poly.
“It’s a chance for people to see a large part of the (music) department,” Ketterer said. “And it’s a good introduction for people because it has variety.”
Ticket prices range from $8 to $18. Proceeds from the BandFest concert, sponsored by the music department, the College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program, will benefit the Wind Ensemble’s summer tour. The Wind Ensemble will leave next year in July for three weeks to perform in Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich and Prague.
But whether people attend to help fund the Wind Ensemble’s summer tour or not, the music department simply appreciates seeing the many faces of Cal Poly.
“We love all the support we can get,” Ketterer said. “We all love to entertain the audience; it’s a big part of why we do what we do.”