The community band formed by a UF summer program performed one last free show Wednesday.
UF’s Creative B program, the School of Music and the College of the Arts teamed up to form the Creative B Summer Band, an ensemble of students, faculty, staff and Gainesville community members, said the bands’ director, John M. Watkins, Jr. The band held its final performance at the University Auditorium.
The show started at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m.
Sarah Hall, a UF biochemistry and marine sciences senior, has been playing the flute and piccolo for 11 years. After an audition in early July, she was accepted as a new member of the summer band.
Hall was not surprised by the fun and welcoming nature of the diverse ensemble. Each participant, though different in his or her personal life experiences, has shared a common understanding of the music.
For its final performance, the band played music ranging from patriotic classics to Broadway show tunes to standard band literature, she said. Switching between styles challenged the musicians to focus on the instrument rather than the music style.
“I have honestly enjoyed all of the genres we play, but I absolutely adore musical theater, so I am looking forward to performing Broadway show tunes,” Hall said.
Ryan Klitz, a UF music education junior, has been playing the euphonium for nine years. He did not have to audition for the band.
Students could have earned academic credit for the Summer B semester by registering for “Concert Band,” MUN1120.
Klitz described the final show’s program as electric. There is a little something for everyone to enjoy.
There were songs from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Incredibles,” “West Side Story” and “Star Wars,” he said. Other pieces included the works of Frank Ticheli and well-known American classics like “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Band members vary in age, but the set lists are not bound by time, he said. During rehearsal, musicians laugh and bet on what song they will be told to play next.
“Every rehearsal so far, I’ve heard the tuba section talking in between songs about how excited they are to get the next tune,” he said.
The group is comprised of music majors, incoming freshmen, graduate students, professors and local musicians, he said. When it started, some people had spent every day in the past year practicing, and others hadn’t picked up an instrument in three years.
Hall said one of the best aspects of the band is the opportunity for incoming freshmen to participate. Being involved in a band helps students make friends and feel more comfortable in the transition to college.
It provides summer music students with live performance opportunities, she said. These events help in maintaining skill and comfortability on stage.
“UF has so many opportunities to perform between marching band in the fall, concert bands in the spring, symphonic band and wind symphony,” Hall said. “The Summer B band allows us to stay in tune with music while performing great songs with new people.”