This holiday break, the Olivet College Marching Comets were invited to perform in the Rome New Year parade. Marching through the Piazza del Popolo (People’s Square), the Marching Comets performed for over half a million people celebrating the new year and were featured on the TGR Lazio news channel.
“The trip to Rome was incredible for our musicians on so many levels! As musicians, we provide service to our audiences, even the ones we may not be aware are listening. The only tangible evidence of our service work is through applause and audience interaction, which at times may be small. Performing for 540,000 people, who are all engaged, clapping, singing and dancing, is not only tangible but inspiring and rewarding,” Director of Bands, Jeremy Duby said in an email.
The Olivet College Wind Ensemble also performed to a sold-out audience in the Santa Maria dei Miracoli Church, which is one of two twin churches in the Piazza del Popolo that dates back to the Augustan Age.
Junior Leah Miller said, “It’s hard to put into words how overcome with emotion you get when playing in a space like that. We’d play a note, release it, and it would echo and reverb
off the walls for at nearly ten seconds, in some cases. It brought tears to my eyes and I found myself swaying into the music more while playing.”
The Wind Ensemble welcomes all to join them on Thursday, January 23, at 7 p.m. at the Olivet Congregational Church for an encore performance of their concert in Rome. The performance will also include stories from the band’s travels and photos of the historic landmarks they visited throughout the week.
(Aaron Goudie accompanied the Olivet College Marching Comets on their trip to Rome as a trombone player in the Wind Ensemble.)