SJCC Wind Ensemble Presenting ‘Angry, Nasty’ March


Photo courtesy of Rob Vanya/San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations, and Government Affairs

Dr. Karen Marston conducts members of the San Jacinto College Central Campus Brass Choir during a rehearsal for a prior concert.

The San Jacinto College Central Campus Wind Ensemble will perform a free concert March 13 at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Kristen Marston, the director of the Wind Ensemble and Brass Choir, joined Central campus as a full-time faculty member in 2000. She is responsible for putting together the concert and ensuring the music lines up to offer an entertaining performance.

“Most of the pieces on this program are high energy, intense, and provocative with a few light works interspersed for contrast,” Marston said. Likewise, she added, the lighter moments are “…peaceful and meditative, but everything else is bombastic, high-energy, and intense. It will be a fun program.”

Furthermore, the musicians featured in the concert are all San Jac students hailing from different academic backgrounds.

“Around seventy percent of the students are music majors pursuing music education, performance, composition, or theory as a career path,” Marston noted. “And the other thirty percent are non-music majors working toward degrees in other fields.”

However, she said the success of the performance hinges on the individual participants coming together as a unified group.

“We put a huge amount of effort into becoming a strong team, working together, and creating an energetic, exciting, and moving experience for the audience,” Marston said. Moreover, to further heighten the excitement, she decided to deviate from some of the traditional and expected concert fare.

“Whereas most marches for concert band, at least the ones with which I am familiar, are cheerful and in many cases patriotic; I wanted to write sort of an anti-march; an angry, nasty march, that still follows the traditional structure one would expect from a military march,” Marston said.

Music education major Chris Haugh, who plays the French horn in both the Wind Ensemble and Brass Choir, said he significantly expanded his technical ability during his time with the music department.

“I have become an exponentially better musician since starting private lessons and ensembles at San Jac last fall,” Haugh said.

Furthermore, Haugh, echoed Marston’s sentiment confirming the concert will feature a broad range of dynamic musical offerings.

“‘Xerxes’ is a big, in-your-face piece with the form of a march but the sound of an action movie soundtrack,” Haugh said. “The Brass Choir will show you various different styles of chamber music ….”

Meanwhile, Marston noted, the musicians worked hard during intensely focused rehearsals in order to deliver “a great product to the audience.”

“I am extremely proud of both ensembles,” Marston said, “and enjoy putting all of our hard work toward the goal of creating a superior performance.”

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. Clear Lake Presbyterian Church is located at 1511 El Dorado Blvd.