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Paris recap from the Winter Ensemble

February 22, 2016

Maybe it was the way Jeremy Duby waved his baton in the air, making figure eights, tilting his head this way and that like there was a crick in his neck. Maybe it was the way the second song’s electric eel wave of motion transferred through Johann De Meij’s “Aquarium, Op. 5” piece, reeling in the audience slowly. Or, maybe it was the way Levi Armstrong ’15 serenaded those attending the 100-minute event with his alto saxophone playing, creating a standing ovation.


Whatever way you look at the event, the Olivet College Wind Ensemble’s 11-song “Winter Gala,” held Jan. 16 at the Olivet Congregational Church, reinvigorated my faith in the humanities, in the arts, in travel.


The ensemble demonstrated wind-band repertoire and stories featuring an encore performance of the students’ concert at the American Cathedral in Paris.


During the eight-day trip – six days in France and two days by transit -- 40 Olivet College music students embarked on the musical journey of a lifetime. The group was scouted and selected from an exclusive list by Youth Music of the World to take part in the spectacular New Year’s Day Parade on France’s most famous boulevard, Champs-Élysées.