The rumbling applause given to the Agora Chorale could be heard from the lobby of the La-Z-Boy Center, and it was all that guests needed to hear if they were a late-comer to Monday night’s first performance for both groups.
The Meyer Theater holds 541 guests, and almost all seats were filled at the event. In return for the thunderous applause, both the Chorale and band wowed their crowd.
Initially, while guests were finding unreserved seats, the Chorale lined the stairs on either side of the stage. Dressed in black pants and white shirts and/or black dresses, they waited patiently for the almost full house to settle into their seats.
“Every time I see the Symphony Band and Agora Chorale perform, the show is better than the time before,” said MCCC Dean Vinnie Maltese.
“Mark Felder and Catherine Brodie are doing an outstanding job leading their respective groups.”
When the piano rolled onto the stage and the large screen announcing “rules” for pictures and cell phones retracted, the Chorale moved to the stage in song.
The song was called, “The Stars Stand Up In The Air.” The piece was “haunting, beautiful and melancholy” as the audience was told by a member of the Chorale.
“They are true stars in my eyes,” Agnes Muelheim, a visitor from Köln, Germany, said.
The Chorale sang a total of seven songs; some were very soulful, while others were light and playful. The Chorale received a standing ovation from the audience.
After a ten-minute intermission, during which the stage was reset for the Symphony Band, many people mingled in the lobby, talking about the Chorale performance and how they seemed more like a professional performance than a group of MCCC students.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing for free,” Muelheim said. “I gladly donated $10 to the basket upstairs because this performance was worth every penny. I wish that every performance were to this caliber.”
Once the Monroe County Community Band took the stage, the most obvious visual was the light reflecting off all of the brass instruments on the stage.
From the start of the band’s half of the concert, guests were awestruck by the power behind the instruments and the passion that flowed from their fingertips and hard work. The group’s second song, Panis Angelicus, was of a caliber one would hear if they were listening to Andrea Bocelli.
“Simply amazing, I was wowed out of my seat,” Damian Pellick said.
The Overture 1812, another piece that was performed, lasted 18 minutes. Included was a brief history of the song, so that those who did not understand the passion behind it could appreciate it more.
The National Emblem March by EE Bagley was the final piece. It is one of the songs that is traditionally played at each US Navy Pass In Reviews (Graduation).
“As usual, the Agora Chorale continues to stretch its musical repertory, especially the Purcell and Mendelssohn piece” said professor William McCloskey.
“My favorite, though, was the symphonic band’s rendition of The 1812 Overture. Overall, it was a great concert by both groups.”