October 23 Rehearsal Notes and Announcements

Only 6 weeks of playing, and Bytown Band has a great sound! I am impressed by how everyone is following the conductor, playing with a strong musical sound, and showing a keen awareness of tuning.  FANTASTIC! Looking forward to hearing your ensemble at the concert on December 16! – Cathy


Sunday is the ONHB Annual General Meeting.  All musicians are entitled to vote. Two musicians will be elected to our board of directors. Please plan to attend.  Meeting from 2 – 3:30 at Woodroffe United Church, 207 Woodroffe Ave.

Next Tuesday is a full two hour rehearsal.  Please set up in the music room 154 – music stands are provided.

Please contribute to the refreshment donation basket (once per session) if you wish to partake ($2-$5 suggested)

Photos on website and Facebook:

If you allow your image to be shared, please initial the attendance sheet at the right side, under Note.


To ensure that your image is NOT included on the website, please email Felicia and Cathy (wilcoxceo@gmail.com).

Thanks to Charlene (flute) for a great “getting to know people not in your section” activity.  If you missed the fun, plan to attend the next social activity! Speak to Charlene if you have any ideas to share.

Please remember to wear your nametag to rehearsal.  The first 20 people who enter the rehearsal room wearing their name tag will be entered into a draw.

Check out Smart Music, an excellent online tool for learning to read music faster. (see details following rehearsal notes)


Reminders for practicing this week:

 Your sound quality, and your future ability to play notes quickly and without strain, is affected by your posture. Here is a review:

Feet flat on the floor.

Sit tall, as if there is a string from the crown of your head, suspending you from the ceiling (for a relaxed, suspended feeling rather than stiff-as-a-board posture).

Shoulders should be relaxed (roll back and drop shoulders).

Make sure your music stand is high enough to see the conductor in your peripheral vision.

Rehearsal Notes:

This week, we focused on making a steady and smooth sound, playing each note for its full value to the next note, like individual pearls, connected on a string. (winds  ie brass and woodwinds) – with steady air flow, but articulate each note with your tongue “slicing” through the air stream, so that each note has a distinct, clear beginning;  basses- let the string vibrate until the next note)

Jurassic park


The woodwinds penciled in which groups are playing the tune together, and noted some interesting counter melodies and interesting parts which should be emphasized.  We focused on the new rhythms:  dotted half note (3 beats – counted 1+2+3+), and dotted quarter note (one and a half beats –  counted 1+2) followed by an eighth note (+).  We played with a full, strong sound, and reviewed posture (feet flat on the floor, sit solid and tall at the edge of the chair, shoulders back, use lots of air).

Barrage: 61 to the end (the coda). We concentrated on playing slowly and steadily, with accurate accents, and energy.  Dynamics (loud, soft) will be started next rehearsal, so for this week, strong and steady with accents is the goal.

Jamaican Holiday We didn’t have time to play this, but continue working on the first piece, (#1) especially.

Listen to each piece (listening links) after practicing your part slowly and steadily, to hear how your part sounds in context. Don’t worry that you are not playing the piece at the tempo (speed) of this recording.  Slow and steady!


Highly recommended!

Smart Music (classic) is $40 (US), and is an excellent online tool for practicing pieces at adjustable tempos and learning how to read music.  You can select and play music from Essential Elements (Books 1,2 and 3), many other method books, and over 5000 easy to medium difficulty band pieces and solos.  You learn by reading the piece on your monitor and then seeing which notes you played correctly (they turn green) and where errors were made (red). Smart Music is highly recommended for all, but especially people with no previous music reading experience, because you get instant feedback each time you play, and can correct mistakes (rather than practice them inadvertently!).             https://www.smartmusic.com/classic/