Carpe Noctum (Seize the Night)

With brass and percussion lined up off the field for the start of Blue Devils Carpe Noctum (Seize the Night), one can be forgiven for sensing deja vu. Last year's guard-framing final drill form returns to open a sizzling musical production blending the most modern elements of Latin jazz and symphonic wind literature.

Vince Mendoza's Jazz Pans, Jay Chattaway's Conquistador (as played by Maynard Ferguson) and Jim Sochinski's Coronation of the Dead Queen (mvt. 4 of The Legend of Alcobaca) are blended into one heart-throbbing entity; with musicians spreading across the field to a regal toreador-like fanfare and ending with majestic-yet-menacing overtones of the fabled Portuguese love story. The beautiful love theme of Ines (mvt. 2 of ...Alcobaca) is punctuated by occasional malevolent dissonances from the opener.

Rick Tait's No Heroes (for the Latin jazz group Manteca), Johnny Richards' Commencement (written for Stan Kenton) and Michel Camilo's Caribe (from One More Once) is launched by festive ethnic drumming which powers up a finger busting "if you've got it, flaunt it" virtuosic passage played in unison by all the brass. Chick Corea's Day Danse (from My Spanish Heart) and Dom Pedro's Revenge (mvt. 5 of ...Alcobaca) features a return of last year's haunting heartbeat, as Dom Pedro rips out the heart of his arch-villain. Further pathos is felt with evil-sounding colors capturing the inescapable darkness of the tragedy, seizing both the night and the quivering throats of the audience.