The SUNY Broome Concert Band (SBCB), under the direction of Professor Karen Clark, released the first of four pieces in their concert series entitled, “Our Time to Remember.” These pieces comprise the Virtual Band Project, an unprecedented creation for unprecedented times. The first piece, “The West Wing – Main Title” features Renée Clark, Early College ’20, in a beautiful trumpet solo. The title sequence was originally written for the long-running, Emmy award-winning show of the same name. The concert band had the privilege of connecting with the very talented composer/arranger, Roy Phillippe, whose words informed our interpretation of the piece and allowed students to learn about industry examples of non-traditional composing styles.
The Virtual Band Project was SBCB’s response to the sudden conversion to fully online education during the spring of 2020. Students and and community band members were asked to record themselves playing their assigned parts with a click track and send them to Prof. Clark to be mixed into one single recording, which sounds as if the band recorded it all together in a typical concert setting. Though most were utilizing this type of technology for the first time, all band members did an excellent job. Special recognition should go to the percussion section, Brooke Manga, Music Education ’20, Sierra Musk, Music Therapy ’20, and Gregory Wynter, Psychology ’20, for their innovative use of everyday objects and electronic percussion programs to create the panoply of sounds heard on the recording.