Elemental Performance in the Te Ata Auditorium


Paul Tointigh

USAO’s concert band members gather at a party to celebrate their recent performance in the 2023 spring trimester concert.

Paul Tointigh, Managing Editor

USAO’s concert band recently put on their 2023 spring concert, playing four pieces that musically challenged the band. The band focused on elements for this concert, including fire, water, air, and earth.

Under the direction of Director Kaleb Benda, the band performed “In this Broad Earth” by Stephen Bryant, “Ouachita” by Julie Giroux, “Joyant Winds” by Ed Huckby, and “Vesuvius” by Frank Ticheli.

Despite the challenges, the musicians said they enjoyed the difficulty and the effort they put into this trimester’s concert.

“It [the concert] was really fun, and it was nice seeing everyone work hard to achieve a common goal. The music did challenge me, but it was a good challenge,” said David Orgas, freshman music major and tuba player.

“I feel like the music challenged us a lot, especially the instrumentation, and it was sort of the hardest music we played with how many people we had to play it,” said Jaden Johnston, sophomore music education major and flutist. “We had so many parts for so few people, but I think we tackled the challenges that were presented.”

The band members said they look forward to next year, and playing in the fall trimester concert. Some of the members said they have set goals for their personal performances, as well as the band as a whole.

Thomas Buchanan, freshman art major and euphonium player, said he wishes to see the band grow. Buchanan said he wants USAO’s concert band to play more film music, as people would recognize the music easier. Buchanan said he also wants more challenging pieces to grow as a musician.

“Being able to do more pieces with complicated instrumentation is a goal of mine for the band,” said Buchanan. “A lot of the music we play is fun, but I want something we can play that other people recognize.”

Rocky Roberson, a community member of the band, wants to bring french horn into the band, as the band currently does not have one. Roberson played multiple instruments for this concert, switching between tuba, trumpet, and trombone.

“My goal is to show up and do as well as I can doing whatever part I am needed in,” Roberson said. “It’s been fun for me to change instruments and become better at whatever I play.”

USAO’s concert band said they are always looking for new members to join. USAO plans to add a pep band to perform at basketball games and add excitement. If interested, you can email Director Kaleb Benda at kbenda@usao.edu.

USAO’s concert band will be perform once again in fall trimester.


Paul Tointigh is a third-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.