Wilmington College bands record CD; audio streaming to start July 1


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Zachary Schecter is featured playing the trumpet at the Quaker Thunder Pep Band’s Spring Concert.

Zachary Schecter is featured playing the trumpet at the Quaker Thunder Pep Band’s Spring Concert.


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WILMINGTON — Fans of Wilmington College’s Quaker Thunder Pep Band won’t have to wait until football season to hear such favorites as the College Fight Song, Devil with the Blue Dress and The Final Countdown.

Starting Friday,July 1, these tunes and others from the College’s instrumental music groups that comprise the album, Sounds of the Season, will begin streaming on such popular audio platforms as Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.

The Pep Band, WC Jazz Ambassadors and a trio from the Chamber Music class recorded a 14-track compact disc this spring to gain hands-on experience in yet another medium for doing what they love — performing music.

Director Stephen Wadsack said the COVID pandemic limited performance opportunities over the past two-plus years as distancing requirements curtailed the Pep Band’s regular venues of football and basketball games and its normal concert schedule. Indeed, most basketball games the past two seasons were played with no or a very limited live audience — and no band.

Wadsack recalled the scenario in which the band was required to rehearse outdoors with members a minimum of six feet apart. “Rehearsing music socially distanced creates challenges. Sheet music blew all over on windy days and we experienced sound delays when one end of the band was 60 feet away from the other,” he said. “It was hard for students not being able to play at basketball games and concerts.”

“I was looking for something to do with the students that would give them more performance experience,” Wadsack said about recording. Rehearsals took on a renewed sense of urgency and focus when the musicians realized they were working toward the sure thing of recording an album.

Wadsack booked time in April at Sabbath Recording Studio in Cincinnati. They recorded one section at a time over several days: brass, woodwind and percussion, which was a unique experience for a band used to playing totally intact.

“When the red light comes on and you have a thumping in your heart, you have to be ready,” he said about recording. “They loved the environment and handled the studio experience really well.” Indeed, several of the tunes were recorded in “one punch.”

Sounds of the Season features a wide variety of songs the band played at football and basketball games. Band members were closely involved in the selection process. The 2021-22 academic year certainly ended on a high note with both the recording sessions and a return to performing in concert.

In the instrumental portion of the Spring Concert, the Quaker Thunder Pep Band played a well-received set of familiar game tunes. Also, a new ensemble, the WC Jazz Ambassadors, was introduced by playing Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues and a break-out trio from the Chamber Music class performed a Jimi Hendrix’s classic, Little Wing.

The Jazz Ambassadors and the trio known as QnB3 are featured on the album.

A limited number of hard copy CDs will be used for instrumental music program recruitment and fundraising.

“Recording in a studio was a really cool experience,” Wadsack said. “A lot of the students had never experienced music in this way and may never again.”

The CD represents Wadsack’s swan song at Wilmington College as he leaves this summer to become a trumpet professor and director of the jazz program at Wright State University. He came to the College in fall of 2018 and took over the Pep Band with five members. As many as 50 are expected in the band’s ranks this fall.

“The recording is a great representation of what we’ve been able to do here,” he said. “It really encapsulates my experience at Wilmington College.”

Zachary Schecter is featured playing the trumpet at the Quaker Thunder Pep Band’s Spring Concert.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/06/web1_PepBand-ZacSchecter-copy.jpgZachary Schecter is featured playing the trumpet at the Quaker Thunder Pep Band’s Spring Concert. Submitted photo

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