University Bands

Tim Rhea was the director of the 2018-2019 University Wind Symphony.

Several hundred people gathered in Rudder Theatre to attend the final University Band Concert of the semester at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 24.

As the last showcase in a weekend full of performances, Sunday afternoon’s concert brought the ensemble together for one final symphony, with the Symphonic Winds performing original pieces from their upcoming CD for the first time in front of an audience.

Travis Almany, director of orchestras and associate director of bands at Texas A&M, serves as the conductor of the Symphonic Winds. Though he has amassed a wealth of experience, Almany said he is still motivated by a poignant sense of purpose.

“[I’m constantly motivated by] giving the students the opportunity to play great music,” Almany said.

Student musicians in the band are represented by undergraduates and graduate students alike. Despite their demanding schedules, the University band provides students with a space to express a more creative side. Both new and old musicians had the opportunity to practice this semester in a new music activity center.

“The biggest difference from years past from years past for us is with the completion of the music activity center,” Almany said. “[We’ve been able to] rehearse in our new state of the art facilities with plenty of room and great acoustics.”

Chemical engineering sophomore Derek Detter plays the trombone in the wind symphony. Compared to his musical experience in high school, Detter said he found A&M’s wind symphony full of talented musicians who are fast learners.

“[Playing for A&M compared to high school] is another level entirely,” Detter said. “In high school, there’s a mix of people who aren’t as enthusiastic, but here at A&M everybody wants to play.

Detter said performing alongside his peers has always been redeeming due in part to a shared persistence for greatness.

“Everyone is here to [contribute to) the best performance … and that means we can play at a very high level of music very quickly,” Detter said. “Pieces that would’ve taken weeks or even months to play in high school suddenly come together in the span of a couple of days. It's actually very fun to play and exciting to do it.”

Prior to the start of the show, the Wind Symphony completed a new recording session for release on their upcoming CD. The band committed over two hours to recording the performance for the CD in order to make sure it was perfect. By the end of the concert, the crowd gave the University Band a standing ovation.

The next show by the University Wind Symphony will be Feb. 28 at the Rudder Theater.

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