Wind & Jazz End On a High Note

April 5, 2011

Monday night’s final concert marked the end of another successful year for the Florida College Wind and Jazz Ensembles. Between multiple performances and last week’s whirlwind weekend tour, everyone is tired but pleased with their performances.

“The job is a lot of work,” says director Brian Rainwater, “But it is very enjoyable and rewarding to see the efforts of the students. They give their absolute best all the time and the hard work has paid off.”

This year, the groups performed a wide range of music—everything from Gershwin and Miles Davis to Santana and the Beatles. And, despite the groups’ small size, they can bring down the house.

“Our size doesn’t stop us from having a big sound,” says music major and clarinetist Sarah Heaton. “We are small, but very close.”

Trombonist Leah Richmond (also a music major) says the groups are like “a musical family.”

“My favorite part of the year with the group is pretty much the general day to day stuff. We all are there because we love music and want to work together to create music. However, we are not so serious that we can’t have fun along the way.”

Rainwater also feels that keeping the environment light and fun makes the more successful.

“I can trust these students a lot more and can be a lot more relaxed and laid back with them. And that’s the best way to be. It’s why we are able to get so much done.”

Because of the groups’ close relationship and laid-back attitude, it is no surprise that the tour is one of the students’ favorite parts of the year. This year, they traveled to Atlanta, Auburn, Ala., and Trenton, Fla.

“It’s a chance to get to know people in our band even better,” says Heaton. “And it gives a way of spreading our music to people around the country and let them hear what we have been working so hard for.”

Richmond agrees.

“Everyone gets to be goofy. We play games [and] have singings,” she says.

But, most of all, Richmond loves to perform diverse and exciting music with her Christian friends.

“Being in a group comprised of like-minded Christians gives the peace of mind that whatever happens on tour is going to be done to the glory of God.”