Band goes on a "Pilgrimage"

November 16, 2016

Matthew Schlomer and the Arts Academy Band are joining the rest of the school in exploring the 2016-17 theme, “Pilgrimage.”

The band’s November 17 performance is titled “Pilgrimage” and features a set of songs that Schlomer has picked to emphasize both the modern and classical ideal of a pilgrimage.

“I really wanted to participate in the theme, but it seems very esoteric and removed from American culture,” Schlomer said. “I started to think about how students could relate to the theme of “Pilgrimage,” and I realized that we do have these types of things in our society.”

Schlomer chose John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine to explain the modern idea of “Pilgrimage.” “Adrenaline is one way we experience pilgrimage,” said Schlomer. “We’re willing to wait in line at Great America for three hours for that one new ride.”

Other pieces reflect the more classical ideas of “Pilgrimage,” such as Chorale and Alleluia by Howard Hanson, which Schlomer said represents an experience with the divine. Shostakovitch’s Prelude represents the idea of homeland, while ...and the mountains rising nowhere explores the concept of a pilgrimage to nature. Mountain Roads, performed by the Arts Academy saxophone quartet, honors the historical nature of “Pilgrimage.”