The Maryville College-Community Concert Band (MC3 Band) recently performed its fall concert, “A Celebration of Symphonic Band.” It was our first time performing with the band’s new conductor, Jay Romines. The program included a variety of pieces, including a Souza march, a Shostakovich waltz, and even my mom’s favorite: Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition.” It took place in the Ronald and Linda Nutt theater and was open to the public.
The MC3 Band was formed in 1992 by Professor Larry Smithee. High school students, working musicians, community members, as well as students, faculty and staff from Maryville College perform in the ensemble. The band serves “to provide a means of artistic expression for all of its members (community and student) within the wind band medium, and to provide MC students with the opportunity to perform and learn within a large ensemble setting,” according to the Maryville College website.
Playing with an ensemble is one of the coolest experiences you can take part in if you play an instrument. Being able to create music not only for other people, but with other people is incredibly rewarding. I had to stop playing with the band for a couple of years due to scheduling issues, but being able to participate again this year really reminded me how much I enjoy playing and performing with other musicians.
When you play with a group like a band or an orchestra, the music not only comes from you, but surrounds you, like the noises of a bustling street that you’re actually standing on, or the peaceful sounds of a walk in the woods. All the different voices of the instruments get woven together, creating a complex but unified piece of music. It’s really inspiring.
I’m one of those high school students who play in the band. I’m a homeschooled sophomore, and I’ve been playing the flute for over eight years. Being a part of the band has been a great extracurricular for me, especially since I live just a couple blocks from campus.
But that’s not the only reason it’s valuable to me. Playing with an ensemble is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including not only the skills that develop from playing an instrument—hand-eye coordination, posture, and memory—but also the abilities improved by playing and performing with other musicians—teamwork, listening, organization, and diligence.
And guess what? Ensemble music is not only good for the musicians performing, it’s good for the people listening, too! Listening to music has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and pain, as well as improve mood, mental alertness and memory.
So next time you hear that the MC3 band is performing at the Clayton Center for the Arts, pick up a ticket and come see us! Not only will the experience benefit you and us, but you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to hear some fun and expressive music.