MA Advanced Bands Return to Rock the Stage in February

MA Advanced Bands Return to Rock the Stage in February

Charlie H. '24, Writer, Arts and Community

Due to COVID-19, it’s been over two years since the last Advanced Bands Concert was held live in the MA Theater. Throughout the pandemic, Chris Detrick, head of the MA Music Program, found creative ways to adapt to the challenges that student musicians faced: during online school, when students couldn’t jam in their bands, they individually recorded and mixed music using software such as Ableton, and when restrictions prohibited live concerts from taking place, pre-recorded music and music videos were produced instead. Although cool, none of this compared to the legendary MA bands performing live, and it’s been far too long since these awesome musicians last hit the stage. But right when the Advanced Bands were finally set to return to the MA theater, their concert was postponed yet again.

Chris teaching in the MA Music classroom.

The Harmony and Rhythm Concert held in early December couldn’t have had luckier timing, with students from the Musicianship classes rocking out just a couple of weeks before the Omicron variant spike began affecting school protocols. But the virus wasn’t so kind to the Advanced Bands, whose concert was pushed back a month until February. “The sense of anticipation has grown to a head with this cancellation. There was already so much anticipation for the show in January, and we can’t stand to wait anymore,” says Advanced Bands drummer Asa D. ’24.

Students in the Music Program were initially disappointed but soon realized that the delay might have been a blessing in disguise, as it gave them advantageous extra practice time. But this wasn’t the only benefit of this postponement. Right after winter break, Chris realized that the soundboard, which controls the relative volume of all the instruments, was broken. It’s currently being diagnosed by a technician in San Diego, with repairs being made in time for February’s concert. In addition, restrictions regarding performing that were put in place due to Omicron would have limited the concert’s potential, such as musicians only being able to perform in a single band, when students normally perform in various ensembles to fit each band’s needs.

Advanced Bands bassist Travis Biehle concurs with Asa, saying that they “expect the show to be amazing,” and that after all, “the cancellation may have been serendipitous because it allowed for the bands to be fully prepared to put on a killer show.”

As the concert approaches, there’s a whole lot to look forward to, with songs by fantastic musicians such as Bill Withers, Sublime, Amy Whinehouse, Tom Petty, and Stevie Wonder in the program.

Not to mention the group of musicians set to perform, which includes lots of stellar talent, including Sophia Bromberg, who performed on The Voice last fall. “This concert will be an absolute banger,” promises saxophonist Jeremy Tachiki. Make sure to come out and support the one and only MA Music Program at the Advanced Bands Concert on the evenings of February 16, 17, and 18!