By Miranda Velez
Symphonic Band’s “Return of the Kooky Koncert” was a feel-good and bizarre experience for all those who attended. Each performer, as well as Director Dan Gordon, showed off their talents in a laid-back and entertaining way. There were smiles and laughter throughoutE. Glenn Giltz Auditorium.
“I did not know what to expect at the Kooky Koncert, but I always like going to the live shows the school puts on,” audience member Luke Geddies said. “So when I was there I was delightfully surprised at how funny the show was and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
The first piece, called “Instant Concert,” was a medley of 30 different pieces. Some of the ones students recognized included “Wedding March,” “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls.” There wasn’t a moment when the crowd didn’t look like they were having a wonderful time.
The unexpected was to be expected throughout this performance, especially in P.D.Q. Bach’s “Grand Serenade.” The piece called for funny and absurd sounds. Performers were screaming and making various comedic sounds during pieces. At one point, some of the performers stopped to gargle water as a part of the piece. At the beginning of the fourth movement, they created a Crasho Grosso, where the percussionists are instructed to drop and tip over their instruments while making it appear to be an accident. Some of the notes created a clashing sound at random points and the audience laughed every time. Gordon had some fun of his own, doing funny movements and creating interesting sounds himself. At one point he marched backstage and came back out, chugging a coffee before running back to finish the piece.
Some pieces seemed to really stick out to audience members. One such piece was “The Typewriter,” which features an actual typewriter as a solo instrument. The SUNY Plattsburgh music department secretary, Jennifer Matott, performed as the typewriter soloist. Gordon made a remark after the piece was played that for many students in this generation, when they see a typewriter, they ask “How do you turn it on?”
“Minor Alterations: Christmas through the Looking Glass” brought the audience back with the sweet nostalgia of Christmas time with fan-favorite pieces. However, all these popular pieces were transposed from major keys to minor keys, giving a drastically different sound and feeling. Hearing Christmas music in the middle of April also added to the kookiness of the show.
The big finale was “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!” The piece told the story of the dreaded monster terrorizing Sin City. The piece used multiple outrageous sounds to tell the story. There was screaming, banging, barking, cheering and gasping during the performance. The sound of this piece really created a visualization for the audience.
“It was a really enjoyable concert,” band member McKenna Brazie said. “It was nice to do a full concert just playing my primary instrument. Most of the pieces were unlike anything I’d ever played before, so I appreciated the challenge. I’m looking forward to being in the band again next semester.”
It was clear from audience to performer that everyone enjoyed their time.