Rehearsal notes for February 6

Well, we weren’t a big band last night, but we were small! Thanks to everyone who made the treacherous trek to rehearsal, and to everyone who let me know you wouldn’t make it. Safety first! Here are a few notes from the tunes we played through in the second half of rehearsal.

Chorale No 2

How to read your part:

You should have one large sheet with two adjacent pages.

  • On the left-hand side are four individual parts: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass (just like in a choir!).
  • On the right-hand side is the melody (Solo) arranged for your instrument and piano accompaniment (so you can find a pianist friend to play along with!), and below it is a Duet part which, along with the Soprano part from the left-hand side makes a duet (so you can play duets with your section-mates and other musician friends!).

These are great melodies to use as warm-ups in your personal practice; play them freely and lyrically, change the articulation, try subdividing (e.g., play eighth notes in place of quarter notes, etc.), sing them … have fun with them!

How to Train Your Dragon

  • Clarinets, horn, trombones: breathe after downbeat at measure 4 (before beat 2).
  • Everyone: breathe quickly after beat 2 in measure 7 (if you need to breathe at all to play through the whole note in measure 8) – tenor sax, horn, tuba can breathe at the end of beat 4 in measure 7 if necessary.
  • Melody instruments at measures 17-20 (tenor and bari sax, low brass): play this section with mild accents on every note (this style is called ‘marcato’), especially on eighth notes; do the same at measures 30-35.
  • Everyone at measure 79: we won’t hold this note too long, and will all take a quick breath before the downbeat at 80.
  • Everyone from measure 80 onward: (well, really almost all the time, but especially here) start long notes (e.g. tied whole notes) with accents, then get quieter; e.g., if your part is marked forte (‘f’), start the note forte and with some zing, but then take it down to mezzo-forte (‘mf’). This will help make space for the moving parts to be heard.
  • Everyone from measures 111-114 (last four measures of this piece): make your accents stronger and come down in volume even more afterward, so that this section sounds like bell tones. Add a crescendo in the last measure (for a big, exciting finish!).

Clinics will continue for the next two weeks, February 13 and 20. Check the updated schedule for room assignments:

I expect to hand out two more tunes at next week’s rehearsal, and then we’ll be set for this session. I will post links to recordings of this session’s repertoire soon.

Have a great week, everyone!