FMU Concert Band Performs at PAC

Andrew Brain, Staff Writer

Presented by the Fine Arts Department, the FMU Concert Band performed from 7:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 1, in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) downtown.  

Terry Roberts, professor of music and coordinator of the music program, conducted the band made of both students and members of the Florence community as they played their spring concert. The band started with James Barness’ “Yorkshire Ballad,” followed by Eric Whitacre’s “The Seal Lullaby” and Randall Standridge’s “Pacifica” and ended with Edward Elgar’s “Nimrod” from the “Enigma Variations.”

“We only had six rehearsals starting the second week of classes,” Roberts said. “The rehearsals were usually about an hour long. It’s full of community people and students, so it’s nice to have these different people get together. Some are retired, one of our clarinet players is a church choir director, and our tenor sax player is a retired radiologist.”

For any high school band members, joining the FMU Concert Band could be an enjoyable extracurricular to participate in. 

“A lot of the students on campus who used to play instruments in high school don’t realize we have a band on campus,” Roberts said. “We have instruments that you can check out, so you don’t have to own an instrument yourself.”

Students and residents of the Florence area made up the audience.

“Usually, we have one performance a semester,” Roberts said. “We did it very early this semester just because of scheduling. It’s been tough trying to decide when we are going to play and find a schedule that works for everyone. We have the band, the jazz ensemble and the choir, so we have to find a scheduling time to do a concert at the PAC.”

While discussing upcoming events, Roberts mentioned the Carnival of the Animals event will be hosted on Sunday, March 6. There are plenty of upcoming performances for the enjoyment of the Florence community. The South Carolina Dance Theatre is performing “Fantasy, Folklore, and Fairy Tales” on Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19. Pianist Ashlee Mack will be coming on Tuesday, March 22, and the FMU String Ensemble will perform on Thursday, March 24. Finishing off March will be the Atlanta Rhythm Section on Saturday, March 26, bringing with them the sounds of Southern rock music.

The band is open to all musicians in the Florence community, so long as they can pick up an instrument and play. For any prospective band players, Roberts accepts emails at troberts@fmarion.edu. He asks applicants to include an expression of interest to join the band and the instrument they play or wish to play. 

For more information on upcoming events, visit www.fmarion.edu/finearts/ or www.fmupac.org. Students and Florence residents are encouraged to come out and see the various performances scheduled throughout the year. From individual performances to ensembles and independent artists to those stemming from the university, there is a myriad of shows and performers to see and support.