Ninth annual Prism concert will include lights, fast pace

Heather Cowherd

At the ninth annual Prism concert tomorrow night, sound will take a back seat.

Instead, the Western music department will entertain the audience with rapid-fire sequences featuring intense lighting and fast-paced movements. The concert will start at 8 p.m.

Those performing include the symphonic band, percussion ensemble, jazz ensemble, basketball band and clarinet choir.

“The format is a very intense kind of concert where we go from one performing group to another as quickly as possible without any downtime,” said the director of bands John C. Carmichael. “We use lighting effects and some voice overs on tape and play a wide variety of music.”

The musicians hope to connect with a variety of music lovers.

“People should attend the concert because it’s making music and that is something that contributes to our society,” said Louisville junior Hilary Bogert, who is playing in her third Prism concert. “I think music is a universal language -?everybody can understand. Language barriers are broken down through music.”

The concert is expected to last about 70 minutes. There will be at least 12 different ensembles performing various music selections such as “Morning Star” by David Maslanka and “Cuban Overture” by George Gershwin.

“[The Prism Concert] is the most collective concert that you will ever attend because it has a little bit of everything,” said Brad Baumgardner, who is a May 2003 graduate from Nashville and has participated for five years. “It has humor, drama and passion. It is a concert that the whole family can come to and enjoy.” Baumgardner was asked to return in order to play the bass clarinet for the symphonic band.

Carmichael wouldn’t reveal everything about the concert, but promises it will be very entertaining and exciting.

In order to participate, a student must have been a member of the symphonic band or taken an ensemble class in the fall semester.

Some members of the Prism concert have been preparing since mid-October.

“It takes a lot of practice and dedication,” Bogert said. “It takes flexibility and open-mindedness and a lot of hard work to put it together.”

The idea for the Prism concert was created about 11 years ago.

Carmichael said in the past a Western band concert was performed as a part of the honor band workshop, a clinic for high school band students. But it was harder for the band to give a polished performance because they hadn’t practiced since the end of the fall semester.

There are 360 high school students planning to participate in the clinic, which shows the different aspects of the music department.

“A very high percentage of the people who are in band [at Western] have previously participated in the honors band clinic,” Carmichael said. “So we believe that the recruiting impact of the concert is strong.”

Besides serving as a recruiting tool, the concert is also used as a fund raiser. Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the door or bought in advance at outlets such as Royal Music and the music department office.

Reach Heather Cowherd at [email protected].