Looking back on Infinity and Beyond

Joshua Meribole-Staff Writer

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Photo by Dordt College

The music begins and the sound of your childhood is played, with each band and orchestra member in attendance dressed to fit either a Disney or Pixar movie theme. The crowd in the B.J. Haan listens and watches. Backstage, the Diamond dove into the behind-the-scenes of the Pops concert performance of Sept. 22.

“My group was the low strings; we were Tarzan [and] I dressed up as Clayton the bad guy,” said junior and Biology major Jonathan Nyman, who plays the cello.

“I was in the trombone section, and we were Frozen. There were fourteen of us; there aren’t a lot of main characters,” says Kirk Carlson.

“The low brass section went as Brave. I was king Fergus,” says Daniel Seaman.

For the concert, section leaders choose their group costumes. In Daniel’s group, section leader Blake Herrema chose Brave, in hopes of doing well with the dress-up part.

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Photo by Dordt College

“I was the guy with the magic wand,” said conductor Dr. Bradley Miedema, who chose to be the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This is his 10th year at Dordt, and his 25th year teaching music.

“I hope the audience really enjoyed it. It’s more fun and entertaining for concerts to appeal to a wide span of age groups, from the littleness of kids to older generation,” says junior Carlson, a Computer Engineering major.

So, how did the Disney theme come about?

Students chose during spring, going through a list of suggestions and finally voting on it. During the holidays, Miedema works on selecting which music to play, giving students each piece in the beginning of the semester.

“The biggest issue [with practicing] is time,” says Miedema.

From when the semester begins, there are approximately three weeks before the concert.

“I don’t have a set practice time for college students. For the ensemble, I expect them to prepare and get what they need to prepare ready for rehearsal.”

Most of the work already began in the summer. There is a student planning committee that helps Dr. Miedema decide on which pieces to do. The committee also helps with t-shirt ideas to promote the concert. The MCs are also contacted during the summer and are given an idea of what will be happening.

The Pops concert is a combination of both Dordt’s Chamber Orchestra and the Band, and together they form the “Combined Band.” Musicians moved between bands, depending on the need, the selections, and the emotion to be expressed in the music.

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Photo by Dordt College

“I think it is an important consideration that the music carries the emotional weight of whatever is being represented,” says Miedema. “In this case—it’s movie music—people make very quick associations about which scene it comes from, or which characters are singing or dancing to that music… It does not make our job harder, but it gives us a pretty big responsibility to get the music right.”

“I believe it was great because Disney songs are part of everyone’s childhood,” says sophomore Jazmin Mendieta, an audience member. “We all have a story that is connected to at least one of the Disney stories. And, the music plays an important role in our lives. By bringing the music on campus, I think we all feel connected to those childhood moment.”

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