Symphonic Band: Suite and powerful


Dr. David Mills conducted the University of Connecticut Symphonic Band at von der Mehden Recital Hall. The concert, titled “Sweet (Suite) and Powerful,” featured five elegant songs. (Nick Hampton/Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut Symphonic Band’s Tuesday night performance of “Suite and Powerful” shattered expectations as the band rolled through a four-song performance.

As the performance started on time at 8 p.m., the musicians began to file their way on stage, immaculately dressed in black formal attire, with the prolific David Mills arriving last. Mills’ prestige is inescapable. He seems to mast every ensemble you can think of, with his subtle Southern charm providing the parry to the professionalism of a fantastic music program.

The band started with a performance of “Vesuvius,” swaying from intricate and bombastic to subtle and chilling. The musicians clearly showed their strength with “Vesuvius.”

Next, the band performed a four-piece suite of cajun folk songs (beautifully, as expected), showing their wonderful range as a band.

The second half started with a short yet sultry Debussy piece, “The Girl With the Flaxen Hair.” While a popular classical song in its own right, in person the song gives a feeling of wonder to its listeners. In conclusion, Mills led the band through Holst’s “A Moorside Suite,” a triad of a scherzo, a nocturne and concluding with a raucous march. And that was that.

Band members gathered in the crowd talking to their friends and family, who pushed through the 40 degree weather to support their efforts as a sweet gesture.

Bravo, symphonic band, bravo. You know how to make a cold Tuesday night warm.

Daniel Cohn is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at

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