There is an axiom that you can’t please everyone, that no matter what you do some will dislike it. This was proven to an extent with the performance given by the Huskie Pep Band in their “2000 Years of Pep” concert. While each piece was played well and with all the enthusiasm that should be expected from a pep band, the variety of pieces played was possibly the greatest strength and weakness of the concert.
Let it first be stated that the Pep Band did a great job playing their music, the gusto in playing alone deserved applause. This was yet another concert in which earplugs were given out before the first notes were played. These earplugs were nearly necessary when the band began playing in full force. The volume was exactly that which is hoped for with a pep band: loud. While this is advantageous in a crowded stadium or on a football field, in a concert hall it was complete overkill.
Coming with these deafening dynamic highs were entirely underwhelming lows. It was very obvious that the band was used to playing in more standard pep band venues in which volume takes priority over dynamic contrast. In the more refined place of a concert hall, the lack of contrast made the sound significantly less lively. At times it almost seemed as if the band’s volume switch had been left on eleven and then destroyed.
This problem, however, was made even worse by the variation in the pieces. While variation is admirable to an extent, it was obvious that the band was at times playing outside their comfort zone. The true difficulty with the extreme variety in the pieces was that, although there was bound to be something anyone would enjoy there would also likely be some pieces which they would not. It was a testament to the talent of the band that they were able to play so many varying pieces of music. Yet, despite this, there was very little chance that anyone in the crowd would leave that night without having sat through a song which simply wasn’t their thing, be it “O Fortuna” or “Cupid Shuffle.”
With all of that having been said, the Huskies Pep Band put on a brilliant performance, with only minor caveats. The band demonstrated admirable flexibility by playing so many different genres and eras of music history.
The only real problem that the band members were in charge of was, indeed, something that is a strength in the more typical performance that the Huskies give. Beyond this problem of volume, there is only the paradox of the variety in the performance. This variety was great to hear, but left certain songs falling flat to particular members of the audience.
Thus, the concert may have been about as good as it could be for what it was trying to be, an exhibition of pep music. Considering this, the Pep Band did a great job, and it will be a pleasure to see what they learn from this performance for their next concert.