MVCC Music Masterworks

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MVCC Concert Band
Photo by Johan Williams

Music can be described as a journey where observers are engulfed in sound and expression. On Sunday, Director Douglass Bratt along with the MVCC Concert Band continued that journey.

The Fine Arts & Performing Center presented “Celebrating Masterworks for Band”, of composers and cultural influences around the globe.

Led by director Douglass Bratt, a recipient of of both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University- an accomplished director, jazz percussionist, and educator, has performed in numerous historic Chicago venues: Jazz Showcase and the Green Mill. Currently, Bratt is a tenured professor of Music at Moraine Valley Community College, servings as an applied percussion instructor along with directing the Jazz Ensemble. In addition, Bratt serves as coordinator of the Academe Music.

Accompanying onstage, was retired Chicago Area radio announcer Joe Collins who served as the announce and narrator for the performance. Collins has contributed to radio broadcast in Chicago for over 25 years including; traffic reports, news radio talk radio and, commercial voice-over work.

Bratt commenced a riveting rendition of the John Stafford-Smith classic; Star Spangled Banner as a tribute to military veterans. As the brass instruments cultivated rich, full rounded, rich tones, that had the audience visually moved them as they stood with their hands over their hearts. The band continued to play Festivo, a tune by composer Edward Gregson. Bratt interpretation and direction of Festivo produced classic Andalusian sound fused with orchestral cadence that echoed days of old in Spain.

Bratt directed the band to perform additional tunes, featuring composers Percy Aldridge Grainger (The Immovable Do), Kenneth J Alford (Army of the Nile) and Clare Grundman (Kentucky 1800).

In the intermission they performed Xerses by John Mackey. Under the direction of Bratt, the band created a whimsical, yet powerful, interpretation of the piece where the percussion section roared throughout the performance.

The second act of the performance started with Variations on a Korean folk song by John Barnes Chance, transporting the listeners on a journey, in the Orient. The band followed with a heartfelt interpretation of Samuel Haze composition; Each Time You tell their Story as a tribute to veterans.

Announcer Joe Collins, narrated a written piece by the same composer with an outpour of emotion that could be felt by the crowd. The band ended the concert with two brilliant renditions of Frank Tichelli’s Vesuvius and the John Philip Sousa classic Easter Monday on the White House Lawn.