The Marching Band Pays The Bills, But The Concert Band Builds The Skills

Digest Art

The distinguished Human Jukebox Marching Band is a proud representation of Southern University and is considered an undefeated powerhouse in the band community. However, the Jukebox has a side that many people do not see, it’s concert band. The Southern University Department of Bands presented The Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Brass Choir at the Annual Spring Concert that took place on Friday, April 21, and Tuesday, April 25.

Students, last semester had the opportunity to audition for a spot in one of the bands and worked hard all spring semester to put on their performances last week.

Junior Sergio Reyes says that “In the Wind Ensemble, the music selection was complex and required a lot of extra work.” After practicing almost every day and working on perfecting the selected music, these students were dedicated to putting on a show.

The Human Jukebox has been known for being the standard because of its integrity, dedication, and strong work ethic. To perform in one of the three concert bands takes an extreme level of musicianship. Percussionist Tyler Spencer says that “In the marching band, they play a lot of music by ear, whereas in the concert band, the musicality is on a different level so they must have an understanding of music theory and the composure of music.”

To remain the standard, students are pushed out of their comfort zones and encouraged to try new things. Music Education Major, Tamyzgeea James who plays the tuba for the marching band and was asked by Dr. Taylor if he would be willing to switch to the euphonium for the Wind Ensemble. James expressed that “Switching horns halfway through rehearsals was difficult because I didn’t have much time so I really had to grind to learn my part.”

Director of Bands, Dr. Kedric D. Taylor has been known to push the band to be individuals with concentration, discipline, and focus. By learning these skills, students can understand the process of what it takes to be great and apply that mastery to other aspects of life. Dr. Taylor works hard to produce musicians of substance that can play more than just rap music, but complex pieces written by talented composers.

When asked what his goal is for the concert band, he responded by saying, “I want us as African Americans to appreciate the educational side of music, more than just the entertainment side.”

While the Human Jukebox attracts students to this university, the concert bands show that Southern has a state-of-the-art music program that is just as talented and impressive as the marching band.

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