Thank You ALL for a GREAT rehearsal.
We have reached a point where I am really enjoying conducting because you are sounding so good!
Our goal now is to bring our music to others so that they can get that same joy in their life!
IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT FUNDAMENTALS
Coach Bear Bryant always stressed the fundamentals. As you now realize, I am of the same mind.
The fundamental ensemble elements are:
TONE – open throat, diaphragm support and warm, fast air.
- Flutes – use a small aperture – think “pu” when you form your embouchure.
- Clarinets point the chin and firm the embouchure.
- Saxophones – use a little more vibrato (not much)
- Low Reeds – good
- Trumpets – good
- Horn – good
- Low Brass – good – tubas are a little blatty – it isn’t bad but could be a little more “focused” and controlled
BALANCE/BLEND – mostly good – sometimes we forget to listen. Remember the lows give us the rich, warm sound we are seeking.
INTONATION – fantastic
PRECISION – improved today (YEAH) – still needs to be at the forefront of our attention. Lowering the podium seemed to help.
Think subdivisions and watch the conductor.
If you are having trouble watching me while you are playing then stop playing and see where the beat is. I rather you play 50% of the notes at the right time than 100% of the notes at the wrong time.
PHRASING – improving – don’t “bump” the ends of phrases. Also, we can do lots more with the nooks and crannies within the phrases. The lower parts need to crescendo and decrescendo more than the upper parts when phrasing.
APRIL 4 – During the next rehearsal we will concentrate on precision and phrasing. We will also move into interpretation and musical effect. These last two things are what gives the audience an emotional experience – joy, terror, love, excitement, sadness, etc. Tell a story with the music and, most importantly, HAVE FUN with it.
The trombones are already there — what a pleasure they are to listen to!
APRIL 11 – Please make a special attempt to be at this rehearsal. We will spend the first half of the rehearsal in sectional. John Mashburn (the real band director in the family) will work with the woodwinds in the choir room and I will do brass and percussion in the orchestra room. We will come back together after break.
APRIL 18 – My philosophy is to rehearsal and prepare well enough in advance so that the last rehearsal is not a frantic attempt to correct major issues.
Our last rehearsal should be pleasant run-throughs where we are performing the music the way we will perform it in concert.
At this point we should transcend the notes and rhythms and, though the art of music, connect our souls and the souls of the audience with the greater cosmos. Yes, I truly believe that is our purpose.
APRIL 22 – CONCERT DAY
- I will have a map to Denmark posted next week.
- Park in bus lanes (I will post map of school next week)
- Go into the doors at the bus lanes
- Band room is across the hall
- Store cases in the band room.
- I will have signs pointing to the auditorium and rest rooms.
5:00 – Optional Rehearsal Dinner
6:00 – On stage – We will play through the beginnings and endings of the pieces to get a feel for the auditorium. Mr. Vincent Sneed, band director at Denmark HS, will conduct Prince of Denmark March.
6:30 – Curtain closes. Restroom Break.
6:50 – Play Mighty Fortress – tune
7:00 – Curtain opens and we begin concert
7:50 – Intermission – we would like for you to stay but I already have told Mr. Sneed that some of our folks will need to leave because they have trouble driving at night (sundown is 8:15 that day).
OPTIONAL REHEARSAL DINNER
Denmark’s Culinary Arts Department is excited about preparing dinner for us. They will serve chicken, pasta, salad, roll, tea, and dessert.
Cost is $7.00 per person. You may have as many guests as you like. Gene will take up money on April 4 and April 11.
FRIENDS, ROMANS AND COUNTRYMEN
Please promote this event – I think it will be a concert that people really will enjoy.
Please email the following poster to everyone you know and place it on social media.
We will perform the following pieces (in this order) on Monday, April 22 at Denmark High School:
- Toccata For Band
- Irish Tune from County Derry
- Under the Double Eagle
- Second American Folk
- Shaker Variants
- Music from Disneyland
- Prince of Denmark (Trumpet Voluntary)
- Jump, Jive and Wail (Brain Setzer)
- The Lone Ranger (Hans Zimmer Movie Version)
You are sounding good now. With three more rehearsals, we have time to upscale from good to great.
I am very proud to be your director and I appreciate all of your hard work. Thanks, Band!