Written by Jessica Shelburne
The band is a staple of the Music Department at Roanoke College. Dr. Marc LaChance, the new director, has recently been appointed and is working with the band to continue concerts and performances that showcase the talent possessed by the band’s members.
The college’s student band performs concerts twice each semester featuring pieces composed by various musicians. The latest concert, in February 2020, included Aaron Copland, Julie Giroux, and David Biedenbender.
The RC Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band frequently perform concerts together featuring pieces that highlight the instruments involved in both factions and exhibit how they blend together.
Following the two semesterly concerts from the fall semester of 2019, a special Christmas concert was performed downtown at Charter Hall. Titled “Bridging the Community Gap,” this event was designed to bring members of the community together through music and encouraged people to donate to a canned food drive.
A major band event at RC was during Convocation in the fall of 2017. The Quantico US Marine Corps Band helped kick off the semester with a highly praised performance. Towards the end of their set that featured more classic pieces, the popular Isley Brothers song “Twist and Shout” was played which elicited some breakout dance by new students in the audience and set an exciting tone for the new year. Then, in 2018, the US Coast Guard Band visited Salem and performed music ranging from jazz to wind ensemble classics. Having these prestigious bands that represent high American values visit our community upholds the band’s mission to promote public goodwill and advocates musical performance both nationally and locally.
Every instrument included in a band set is essential, but even more important is the musician behind it. Each senior that participated in the band contributed to the collective sound. Here’s to a musical future – conduct a good one!