Holiday Spirit at the Advent Concert

The Mount St. Mary’s University Flute Choir and Wind Ensemble spread holiday cheer during the Advent Concert on Dec. 7 in the Knott Auditorium. From 2 to 3 p.m., both ensembles performed festive works and seasonal favorites to help the Mount community and guests get into the holiday spirit.

Directed by Professor Jennifer Rundlett, the Flute Choir’s focus on Irish music was demonstrated through the first set of pieces performed: the serene “Rose Cottage” and the fast-paced piece entitled “The Doubtful Wife.”

Author Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Steadiest Tin Soldier” story was then brought to life in a series of three pieces. Resembling a soft march, “The Tin Soldier’s Theme” told the story of how a tin soldier with one leg comes to life at night.  The ballad-like piece “The Dancer’s Theme” expressed the love between the soldier and a ballerina, and “The Canary Song” resembled canaries through the light and quick disconnected notes heard in the piece.

The Flute Choir is actually the only ensemble at the Mount that features a single instrument.

After a brief intermission, the Wind Ensemble led by Dr. Mark Carlson performed five pieces featuring 25 Mount students and a variety of instruments including flutes, oboes, clarinets, saxophones, horns, trumpet, trombone, tubas, and percussions. According to Dr. Carlson, “In all my time at the Mount, I’ve never had such a balanced band.”

The Wind Ensemble first performed the energetic holiday classic “Sleigh Ride.” Three short dance works by Tylman Susato were then performed as part of a Renaissance Suite. The percussionists began the piece “La Mourisque” with a strong beat, while the second piece “Mille Regretz” was quiet yet just as commanding as the first. The third piece entitled “La Bataille” also resembled the first piece and was the climactic finish to this medley.

The pieces entitled “Make Our Garden Grow,” which represented a quote from Voltaire’s classic work “Candide,” and “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which is Latin for “Grant us peace,” both fully demonstrated the complex harmonies performed by these orchestral instruments while setting an appropriate mood to the season.

To finish the concert, the Mount St. Mary’s Alma Mater was performed, and Dr. Carlson thanked everyone for their help in organizing and preparing for this Advent Concert as the Wind Ensemble prepares for another great semester in the spring.

Meghan Orner

Staff Writer for The Mountain Echo

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