Mesa Legend
Photo by Jens Thekkeveettil from Unsplash

MCC bands and orchestra return for fall performances

Mesa Community College band and orchestra will be performing a concert for the first time since the pandemic began on Tuesday, Oct. 5 in the Performing Arts Center.

The community band will open the show and is composed of hobbyists and casual musicians. The concert band, composed of degree-seeking students, will follow. The community orchestra will round out the concert.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, each of these groups have had to go virtual.

“For the majority of it we were doing everything on Zoom,” said director of instrumental music Robert Hunter.

“We truly missed making music as a full ensemble,” said director of orchestras Brian Murphy. “While it was great to have some of the players live in the room, it was not the same as the full orchestra all together sharing our music with each other.

The bands and orchestra tried operating virtually and as a hybrid course over the past two semesters; however, it was just not the same.

“The pandemic affected the band greatly. We did our best trying to provide the students with online options. However, there just isn’t a replacement for music in-person,” said director of jazz studies Paul Brewer.

For this show, the ensembles have had four weeks to practice. The community band and orchestra only meet once a week, but the excitement of being together is shared by everyone.

“Joy is the word that first pops into my mind. It is such a joy to be live and make music in person again. During every rehearsal there is so much joy in sharing our music with each other. We are so excited to get a chance to share our music with others at our concert,” said Murphy.

“We recently had a dress rehearsal in the PAC theater, and it was an amazing feeling. For the students, it’s why they are there — to practice performing while performing. For me, not being allowed to perform with my students has been a huge hole in my life for 19 months now,” said Brewer.

Every student had to adjust to a virtual class setting, but doing so as musicians brought different problems.

“Playing with people, experiencing the acoustic sound and the social atmosphere is very important to our students,” said Brewer.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and tickets can be bought online. The Performing Arts Center will be operating at half capacity and requiring face coverings in accordance with district rules for safety and COVID-19 protocols.

Performances by ensembles will continue throughout the semester.

“As soon as one show is over, we immediately start preparing for the next with each performing ensemble. Each ensemble will perform at least twice each semester, and we have somewhere around 20 ensembles,” said Brewer.Additional information for each show can be found on the MCC Music Events page.


  • Adam Terro is the Opinions Editor for the Mesa Legend. He joined the staff in January 2021 and first published with the Legend in fall 2020. His passion is for sports, and opinions cover many topics. Follow his Twitter @AdamTerroNews.