Wind Ensemble plays student composition

Mitchell’s ‘Fantasy in D’ inspired by beauty in the world

Max Mitchell. Photo by Matana McIntire.

Max Mitchell.
Photo by Matana McIntire.

Mt. Hood’s Wind Ensemble and Chamber Strings Orchestra performed March 8 in the College Theatre under fourth-year director Grant Linsell.

The performance began with three-piece suite, “First Suite in E Flat for Military Band”  by Gustav Holst, then progressed through  “Fugue in F Major” by J.S. Bach; “Sonata in F” by Johann Christoph Pezel; “Chorale for Band” by Frank Erickson; “Fantasy in D (Premiere)” by Max Mitchell; and “Galop” by Gary P. Gilroy.

Linsell informed the audience of some of the difficulties raising the intensity of the ensembles, based on the shifting (student)  population, term-to-term.

“I think it’s a real testament that the amount of work that the students put in at the beginning of every term,” says Linsell. “Instead of having year to get stuff together, we have 10 weeks.”

Considering that two weeks were subtracted from this term, due to January’s ice and snow, it’s amazing how well the ensemble performed. Its play was an indicator the students had put much time and effort into the performance.

With every group of students, there’s always that one performer who stands out. Mt. Hood’s Max Mitchell composed “Fantasy in D” inspired by his views on what is beauty in the world, “just finding beautiful things in everyday life.” He said he began work on his piece the beginning of Fall Term after the orchestra was working on student-composed pieces. Given the limited instrumentation on hand, he decided to compose the piece primarily for a string quartet.

Mitchell credits his father for influencing his interest in music at a young age, leading him to composing video game tunes.

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