Wind Ensemble Returns To Live Performances

Cejai Johnson, Contributing Writer

For almost two years, the Muskegon Community College Wind Ensemble did not perform for an in-person audience. Their last live concert was on December 9, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all classes had to be virtual to protect the health of both students and staff; however, with more refined safety guidelines and the proven effectiveness of vaccines, the ensemble was allowed to perform at the Central United Methodist Church in Downtown Muskegon on October 13. Band Director Dan Meyers speaks about the difference between online recordings and live shows.  

“The one thing with the virtual stuff, I as a conductor only conduct into a video but never got to put this together, never really got to rehearse with the people,” he explained. “All of a sudden, here we are all together, doing what we do, which is make music together as a group.”  

During virtual classes, the Wind Ensemble students would record themselves performing their parts alone. This would be done either at home or at the school’s music studio. The recorded tracks would then be arranged and edited into one project that sounds reminiscent of a live performance. Notably, how the music is received differs greatly between the two mediums, with the most noticeable difference being the lack of applause for virtual concerts.  

“Sometimes we take the audience for granted,” Meyers points out. “It’s nice to get done with a concert and have family and friends there to go ‘that was a great concert.’” 

The Wind Ensemble plans to continue their in-person performances and rehearsals.  

“If people want to have a real in-person experience, come out to the concerts again,” Daniel states. “Performances are back, so come out and take part in something you missed for a year and a half.” 

The next MCC Wind Ensemble concert will be on December 3 at 7:30 pm; however, the location for this performance has yet to be decided upon.