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Nov. 7, 2008

Band Extravaganza

Nearly 500 ISU student musicians will rock Stephens Auditorium Nov. 8 at the annual ISU Band Extravaganza. The evening will feature performances by the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble I and the Cyclone marching band. Contributed photo.

Strike up the bands

by Paula Van Brocklin

Question: What happens when melodious winds, blaring brass, rhythmic drums and 470 of Iowa State's most talented student musicians get together in one space?

Answer: They'll knock your socks off at the annual ISU Band Extravaganza.

A long-time music department tradition, this year's extravaganza is slated for Nov. 8 (7:30 p.m., Stephens Auditorium). The performance features Iowa State's top four bands -- Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble I and the Cyclone marching band.

The event begins with back-to-back performances by the first three bands, each about 15 minutes long. Their musical selections include classical overtures and upbeat numbers specifically rehearsed for this show. The Wind Ensemble's concert also will feature internationally acclaimed bass baritone and Iowa native Simon Estes, who will sing two selections.

Following an intermission, the 320-member Cyclone marching band takes the stage for about 45 minutes, performing numerous pieces from this football season's pregame and half-time shows. The marching band's performance also showcases ISU's national award-winning twirler and the drum and flag lines. But since there's no room for the band to maneuver on stage, this performance highlights its sound ... lots of it.

"This is a great opportunity to hear the musicianship of the marching band," said Michael Golemo, associate professor and chair of the music department.

Pulling off a logistically challenging production like this is no small feat, Golemo said. As the Symphonic Band finishes its performance on stage, the curtain drops and the jazz band begins its concert in the pit. While the jazz band performs, the Wind Ensemble sets up on stage behind the curtain.

"It's a good thing we do this every year because we always learn something new," Golemo said.

In addition to the performances, the music department will recognize graduating seniors and present student leadership awards.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students, and are available at Ticketmaster locations, the Stephens box office or by calling 233-1888.


ISU Band Extravaganza

Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Stephens Auditorium

Tickets: $5-$10