Annual Prism Concert focuses on each part of the whole
A prism takes a single ray of light and breaks it down into all its individual elements: the primary colors. Similarly, the annual Prism concert breaks down an a group of instrumentalists into their respective sections so that concertgoers really know what each sounds like.
“What we do is break down the ensemble into its elements, like when the audience listens to a wind band or even an orchestra, for that matter, they’re listening to all the combined voices and every once in a while if a trumpet player has a solo or if a section has a line by themselves, which is not too frequent, they can hear what that section sounds like,” Prism Conductor Richard Brasco explained. “So what we’ve done is taken the sections out of the band in the form of chamber groups and each section plays a selection that is written specifically for them, and not for the band.”
These chamber groups — flute choir, brass ensemble, saxophone quartet, etc. — are positioned throughout the sanctuary both in the balcony and at first floor level for the Prism concert. The chamber groups perform one after the other to demonstrate to the audience the character of each section.
After each group performs, they will then come together to form the entire ensemble. The full ensemble will perform several selections to show the audience the combination of all the colors of the chamber groups.
“There are going to be 10 groups limited to three or four minutes per selection,” said Brasco. “After they’re finished they will all come down to the main level and perform together.”
In the past, the concert has been a part of the Westobou Festival, but this year, due to scheduling conflicts, it will take place separately at the First Baptist Church in North Augusta. And although the Savannah River Winds Prism concert is the only one of its kind in the area, the idea is not a new one. According to Brasco, it was started by Dr. James Croft, a former director of bands at Florida State University.
But that has not stopped Brasco from adding elements to his performances to set it apart from other Prism concerts.
“I invited The Columbia County Ballet Company, directed by Ron Jones, to perform,” he said. “I sent him a piece of the music we were doing and asked if he would like to choreograph something, and he accepted. It was a big hit, so this year we’ve asked them back. In fact, we’re doing one piece specifically for them.”
He laughed and added, “It’s really kind of ironic. The name of the piece is ‘Color,’ by Bob Margolis. The ballet company choreographed that… It’s not typical of a Prism concert, but it adds an element of visual movement to the experience for the audience.”
North Augusta First Baptist Church
Monday, September 24 | 7:30 p.m. | Free
803-442-7588 | naartscouncil.org
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Posted in Art45