Ley Theater at Wayne State College was filled with the musical sounds of flutes, clarinets and saxophones as students performed in small woodwind ensembles Nov. 15.
Woodwind students in recital classes performed in three ensembles separated by section. The first was the clarinet ensemble, followed by the flute choir and finally the saxophone quartet.
Clarinet ensemble freshman Megan Stratton said a lot of practice and hard work went into preparing for the performance.
“A lot of time was spent in the practice room because we only get to rehearse as an ensemble once a week,” Stratton said.
Despite the little amount of time the ensembles were able to spend as a group, it still helps students because of the smaller class size, Karl Kolbeck, WSC music professor and sax and clarinet director, said.
Stratton said she loves small ensembles and large ensembles, but she prefers to perform in large ensembles with multiple kinds of instruments rather than in small ensembles. She said she likes the wider variety of sounds larger ensembles can produce.
Kolbeck said small ensembles are very beneficial to instrumentalists because students can play more in-depth music. It gives students the chance to focus more on their own instrument, and a smaller class size gives students opportunities to learn that they wouldn’t in a large band setting. They have more time to work on and learn individual techniques not only from Kolbeck as their director, but also from each other.
“I wanted to pick pieces that would be educational for the students and they would enjoy playing, but would also be entertaining for the audience,” Kolbeck said.
“My favorite piece was ‘Rise of the Ancients,’” Stratton said. “It was fun to play, and I loved the way it sounded.”
Members of the audience also appreciated “Rise of the Ancients.” One of the audience members, June Brusoe, said it was one of her favorite pieces of the evening.
Stratton said she enjoyed preparing for the performance and working so closely with the other members of her ensemble.
“The people in these small ensembles are so great to work with,” Stratton said. “None of this would be possible without them.”