There’s a first time for everything, and this year, that was certainly true for PCC’s Concert on the Green—in the Dale Horton Auditorium. Many alumni and their families enjoyed the concert in conjunction with the Alumni Homecoming.
Rainy weather prevented the PCCymphony from performing outdoors. At the start of the concert, students, faculty, and alumni were welcomed by performing arts faculty Jacob Van Hall to concert on the “greenish, bluish, blackish,” he began. “Well, I know the carpet’s not the same thing, but we brought in the virtual green in with us today!” With that, he gestured to the projected photo behind him of First Street Field, the original location for the concert.
Performing arts faculty Josh Hutt, an emcee for the concert, was excited for others to enjoy the PCCymphony’s performance. “I have always appreciated the music and speech departments working together to make the best performance possible. Dr. Charles Bombard and the PCCymphony have worked very hard to create an exciting and entertaining performance to watch and listen [to],” he said.
The concert’s theme—Sounds of Adventure—presented a wide selection of pieces. The musicians took audiences on a journey with legends of the Wild West from Gioachino Rossini and Aaron Copland, tall-tales of the sea from Reinhold Glière and Klaus Badelt, and sagas of the stars from Richard Strauss and John Williams. The Adventures over Land portion also included a performance of J. P. Sousa’s “The Black Horse Troop” from the Alumni Brass Ensemble while Adventures on the Sea portion premiered PCC music faculty Dr. Josh Mize’s piece “Sea of Adventure: A Captain’s Tale.” Between each piece, the audience applauded the musicians’ gusto and precise performances of well-known songs.
English faculty Josh Vaught, a bassoon player for the PCCymphony, has enjoyed playing for a number of on-campus events with the orchestra. “My seat in the orchestra is directly in front of the trombones, trumpets, and percussion section. In our rehearsals this semester, I used a decibel meter during some of the loud moments of our concert, and I measured the total orchestra’s output at 105 decibels. That’s louder than a jet flying over at 1,000 feet!” he said. “Being a part of a symphony is a wonderful hobby for me, but without the rest of the orchestra, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as my hobby for very long.”
While preparing to emcee for the concert, both Hutt and Van Hall worked diligently to immerse the audience within the world of each section, creating a fun script to engage audiences. “During the Adventure in Space introduction, Mr. Van Hall mentions a ‘star date’ as a small reference to Star Trek,” said Mr. Hutt. “Though it may sound like a random string of numbers, Mr. Van Hall actually looked up the exact star date on a Star Trek calendar, so the date you hear [73262.2] is the star date for the Concert on the Green, October 18.”
This year’s Concert on the Green may have taken place indoors, but the welcome feeling of repose and revitalization associated with the event remained. “I’ve watched this event every year. I was a senior when it began [in 2015]. I had no idea that I might eventually help with such a unique event,” said Liz Thomason, assistant production coordinator. “I’ve always loved the carefree, laid-back atmosphere of the performance. I feel like the hustle and bustle of the academic year slows as the conductor raises his baton and transports the audience back to simpler times.”