Iowa Central musicians finish school year with Showcase 2013

The last concert of the year will be one of the best, said Iowa Central Community College band director Paul Bloomquist.

“It takes the better part of a school year to get to know the group, to know where my strengths are, and how to bring them out,” Bloomquist said. “At the end of the school year you can pick harder music and know you’re going to make it.”

Saturday’s Showcase concert will include the percussion ensemble, concert band, vocal jazz, concert choir, encore singers, the brass ensemble and the jazz band.

“We have a fabulous group,” said vocal music director Kathleen Schreier. “They are particularly motivated.”

Schreier was particularly happy with her Vocal Jazz group’s mastery of an organ fugue arranged for vocalists.

“This piece they’re doing is very detailed, and a challenge. They have lived up to their reputation of being able to tackle some difficult material,” she said.

One of the concert band songs will be “Abram’s Pursuit,” Bloomquist said.

“There’s one song, I didn’t know if it would fly or not,” he said. “We read through it on the day of the final last December. … I was amazed and I thought, I’ve got the horses, so to speak, to play it.”

Other than at commencement, it is the last time the sophomores will perform at ICCC.

“It’s kind of sad because it’s the end of a chapter in my life, but it’s exciting at the same time,” said sophomore Stephen Butterfield.

Butterfield plays baritone sax in the jazz band, pep band and concert band, and hopes to keep it up next year as he studies criminal justice at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake. During his time in Fort Dodge, he also got to play in the musicals.

“I didn’t expect to be in the pit for the musicals,” he said. “I didn’t do it in high school, so that was definitely a change.”

Jacie Simon has grown as a musician during her time at ICCC, especially because she plays French horn in the jazz band, where there is no part written for French horn.

She started out playing trumpet her freshman year, she said, but there were too many trumpets in jazz band; more saxophones were needed.

So Simon played the sax part on French horn.

“I started with that, and I’ve floated around the band. I’ve kind of settled in the trombone section and just settled there,” Simon said. “When we sight-read music, everyone else is in their original key, and I have to transpose it on-site to the key I would be playing in.”

For example, every time the trombone music says a B, Simon has to play an F.

“It’s nice to do it because it challenges me,” she said. “I’ve become a better French horn player because of it.”

Simon will attend Simpson next year studying music education.

“I talked to the people down at Simpson, and they’re very interested that I can do that.”