Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU’s Department of Music puts on its fourth annual concert of Band-O-Rama

The FAU jazz band was one of eight groups to perform at Wednesday’s Fourth annual Band-O-Rama held in the Kaye Auditorium. Photo by Michelle Friswell.

As gold stars twinkle in front of the backdrop behind a set of musicians, the audience stands and sings along to the national anthem. The performers are dressed in black shirts, pants and shoes.

Opening up a night full of classical music, FAU’s nine bands passionately played their instruments, taking the older audience back to the times of classical music such as W.A. Mozart’s “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.

The FAU jazz band was one of eight groups to perform at Wednesday’s Fourth annual Band-O-Rama held in the Kaye Auditorium. Photo by Michelle Friswell.

FAU’s Department of Music put on their fourth annual Band-O-Rama concert on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m., in the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium. The bands involved included the FAU Wind Ensemble, the Blue Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Choir, Brass Quintet, FAU Jazz Band, Qualia Saxophone Quartet, Tuba Quartet, Concert Percussion Ensemble, and FAU Marching Owls.

Last year the concert was held at Mizner Park for the first time, but this year the bands were brought back home to FAU.

“We love to stay here,” FAU Wind Ensemble conductor Kyle Prescott said. “We try to do more things to bring the university in the city and the city in the university … This year [it was] the latter.”

Prescott’s goal this year was to bring in a bigger audience from the city, an audience that doesn’t typically come to the school’s events. Band-O-Rama is an event that takes place in some of the largest university bands in the country, such as Penn State and Auburn University’s bands. “We’re just a part of the tradition,” Prescott said.

“Most of the people tonight are not people who typically come to our concerts,” Prescott said. Prescott and his students were hoping for people outside the college to come to the event and were pleased with the audience turnout.

This year’s sound was hard to compare to last year’s, according to Prescott, because of the venue change from outdoors to indoors. While the musicians had to play their instruments louder at Mizner Park to project to the whole audience, in the auditorium they could play softly, giving them a more natural sound.

With an older audience, not many students attended the event. Those who attended found themselves out of place listening to classical music as opposed to the mainstream pop music on the radio.

“It was a good change of pace for what I’ve been hearing on the radio, not that I don’t like what I hear on the radio,” freshman communications major Cody Brinson said.

At Mizner Park the bands performed in front of an audience of approximately 2,000 people, but this year on campus, the projected crowd estimate was 500.

“It’s been a tremendous upward trajectory since I’ve been here at FAU,” Prescott said. “We’d like to keep it here and build it and fill up the house.” The Barry Kaye auditorium can seat up to 2,400 people.

The concert began with the nationally recognized FAU Wind Ensemble of approximately 52 students. Being the only band in the state of Florida to be invited to play in the Southern Division of College of Band Directors Conference, the band has been bringing recognition to FAU. This invitation, along with playing in Tampa at the Florida Music Teachers Association two years ago, have been the first invitations out of all the bands in the history of the university.

The older audience whooped and screamed after the bands’ performances, impressed with the talent among the prestigious music students. To perform in the event, they were required to take the course for their select group which they needed to audition for.

Pressured to succeed, the best of the best make it into the rehearsal classes, which add four to six hours per week to their schedule. Along with this, the students must also purchase their own instruments, which can range from $2,000 to $5,000. The exception is made for students who play percussion. The drums are university-owned.

The students began preparing for the two-hour long concert only four weeks in advance. “[The students faced] the challenge of preparing a lot of music in a short period of time,” Prescott said. The students are professionals about it, according to Prescott. “It’s what we do. I wouldn’t say it’s stress. There are challenges we need to overcome and so we overcome them.”

Because the bands that performed are all part of school courses, they did not need to raise any funds to put on the concert. The concert was funded by the school. Sponsored by WellsFargo, the program accepted donations of $10 at the door for money to go straight toward the music students’ scholarships.

Band-O-Rama, the second concert the FAU Department of Music put on this semester, brought the concert to an end with holiday music like “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. Many audience members got up from their seats with smiles on their faces.

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