By Joseph Poulos
COVID-19 put a stop to all live performances from the Grand Rapids Community College Music Department but on Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., that will all change.
The GRCC Music Department is set to put on its first live, indoor instrumental concert since the pandemic with their Fall Instrumental Ensembles Concert. This show will feature performances from the wind, guitar and orchestra ensembles.
This event is free to all students with a current GRCC ID, and tickets for non-students will be $5 per adult. Any senior or student from another school can get a discounted price of $3 per ticket.
Masks will be required and precautions have been taken such as holding the event at St. Cecilia Music Center, a large venue located near the downtown campus at 24 Ransom Ave. NE.
“There were a lot of things we had to do. All of our shows had to be virtual. That was a huge process. So this will be the first live instrumental concert since COVID-19,” said Jonathan Marshall, a Guitar Ensemble Conductor with GRCC’s Music Department in charge of the school’s International Concert Series.
The concert will open with the Guitar Ensemble, as they start with “Metamorphosis 1” by Phillip Glass, “Autumn Stroll” by Jonathan Marshall himself, and then finally ending with “Dance Suite” by Mark Houghton.
The GRCC Music Department’s Guitar Ensemble is well-known as a collection of skilled and passionate musicians. Marshall is happy to be leading them in this performance.
“… Being an alumni of GRCC… (it) is one of the finest music institutions I have ever been to. It is just a fantastic school,” Marshall said.
The student performers are equally amped up to get back to live performances. Monte Davis, a sophomore guitarist in the music program, weighed in on his role in the upcoming concert.
“I am playing the second guitar parts for all three pieces,” Davis said. “That role is almost a countermelody to the main melody of all the pieces. I am kind of there to keep the richness to the pieces and make sure everything is evenly distributed.”
Davis said being involved in music has allowed him “to make connections with humans I have been able to grow and work with. On a personal level, I have been able to do a lot with my life that I would not have been able to do.”
For Davis, playing in the Guitar Ensemble allows him to experience something not normally felt in regular life.
“I like playing music to be in the actual moment of playing music, where nothing else matters except that actual performance right then and there,” he said. “That feeling is transcendent. Musicians should get the privilege to feel that feeling.”
The Guitar Ensemble also has Kyle Thompson as one of their conductors. In addition to the guitar performances, this show will feature orchestra and wind instruments.
Tickets for the Fall Instrumental Ensembles Concert are available here. For anyone seeking more information on any future concerts from the GRCC Music Department, the schedule is available on the department’s website.