Rehearsal Notes for November 15, 2016

Hello Bytown Band Musicians,

In this note: 

      1. Dates to Note:   CONCERT DEC. 7 and Dinner Event Dec 13
      2. Note and tip of the week.
      3. Rehearsal notes from Nov. 15
      4. What is scheduled for November 22
      5. Band Rep John Telner


  1. Social Activities:

Pre-rehearsal dinner out was great fun at the Greek Souvlaki Shack just a few steps from the church. Thanks to all who came out, and to Gary and Sue for organizing this!

Key Dates:          

If you are interested in going to dinner to celebrate the end of our fall session on Tuesday, December 13 from 6-8  at the Mill Street Brew Pub, 555 Wellington, please let Sue know by Tuesday, Nov. 22 (last day to reserve your place) or email her so she can make reservations. –   Gary and Sue

Tuesday, November 29: “Dress” rehearsal in the sanctuary/ Final rehearsal of the term (no need to dress up for this rehearsal, but we will be “on stage”, in the spotlight, and playing straight through all our pieces.
Wednesday December 7 at 7:00pm:  

4:30  Eat a plain, energy rich, light dinner (sandwich, small pasta dish with tuna, etc). Milk and spicy foods should probably be avoided.

Arrive by 5:30 (Remember that approximately 175 musicians, plus families and friends, will be parking)  Store your cases and coats in Woodside Hall behind the black curtain at the back of the room, but plan to leave valuables at home , with your fans in the audience, or bring onstage.


Dress:  All black, with a hint of festive sparkle if you wish (jewelry, tinsel, scarf, tie, socks, shoes?)

There is a reception following the concert, and musicians are invited to bring easy-to-serve and eat treats like cookies, squares, fruit (toothpicks?), cheese and crackers) or juice, sparkling water, etc.

We need two stage hands to help with set up of percussion and chairs (5:00 p.m.).

We also need two or three helpers for setting up the food between 5:45 – 7 (not musicians! Maybe your significant other, a mature high school student looking for volunteer hours)

Tuesday, December 13:  Dinner at the Mill St. Pub


  1. Team Work! Are you are getting butterflies as the concert approaches?  Are you perhaps a little nervous about being on stage?  This is very common….even some of the greatest musicians experience this!  Plan to harness that excitement!  If you have been practicing regularly over the weeks and were able to attend most rehearsals to practice with your band mates, then you should be feeling pretty good about your progress to date, and your BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH! Do not feel you have to play each and every note, or that the notes have to be perfectly performed!  Even if you have to drop out and skip over some notes to catch your breath, we all pull together to convey the feeling and the message in the music to our audience. Some tricks include:

“stagger breathing” (pre-marking the music so we are not breathing when our closest neighbour breathes)

listen to your neighbours and blend your sound

“When in doubt, leave it out” if you hear you are not right in sync with the band then drop out and watch the conductor and your music, and look and listen for a place where you feel confident to get back into the music.

   Rehearsal Notes for November 8:

This week, we reviewed EE 49, and 52 (chorale … song for choir, so play in a singing style), as well as looking at 55… great job reading this!

Sanctus: This piece is really taking shape, with great attention to playing legato (smoothly, stagger breathing) though the phrases (musical sentences… usually 4 bars, sometimes 8 bars).  An excellent plan is to listen to the piece to hear how your part fits with other parts.

Crusade :  We worked on the transition between slow and fast and did a complete run through! Remember to keep the energy until the end!

Hanging tree:  Please remember that there are conflicting rhythms at the end and lock into your own rhythm. Listen to the link    and find your rhythm in the whole. The piece gradually builds, from a soft intensity and sense of resolve at the beginning to a strong, intense feeling at the end. This comes through when note values are held for their full value, and played with attitude and a slight lilting accent on beat one of each measure.

Calypso Bells: This week we played through the piece at around *MM 96, and then slightly faster, around MM 100, which is a nice, laid back calypso groove that still has life to it if the eighth notes are played detached and light, in contrast to the legato longer values playing the tune. The flutes are still being overshadowed when they have their turn at the tune at m. 29 but they played with lots of air and the volume and tone are improving weekly!


*MM is the abbreviation for Metronome Marking or Mälzel’s Metronome (after the German who invented the device on the advice of Ludwig von Beethoven).  A measure is noted m. and measures (pl.) is mm..

4    Rehearsal Notes for November 22:  (Please bring a pencil for notes to yourself on stagger breathing reminders (X marks “don’t breath here” and or ̛ marks a breath (it helps to have these marks in your music to support your memory in a concert situation.  Please identify your music stand with your name  using tape/permanent marker, and the decorate with a small piece of coloured ribbon , tinsel, holly, or some way to identify your stand from a distance at the end of the concert , after the stands have been moved around on stage and off to the sides.

EE method book, practice 39.  We will review 49 Hey Ho, Nobody Home and 52 “Chorale which might end up in our concert program as a warm up), and we may have time to play 53, 55, and 57

Sanctus:  We will focus on coordinating the ending, where the music slows down and features the bell part. We will continue to work on playing our parts together, and being more aware of how our parts fit into the whole picture. Please listen to Sanctus several times and focus each time on following a different instrument part from beginning to end.  Then try playing your part with the recording.  Prepare to play two bars in advance of an entry by raising your instrument and expelling the ‘old’ air for three counts, and then breathing in for three counts as you form your embouchure.  This will ensure that your sound is produced “on time” (especially in larger instruments) We will also work on legato playing, blending (Listen to the brass and let your sound be swallowed into that sound) and stagger breathing.

Crusade and Hanging Tree: We are going to practice running through these and timing them, in preparation for the concert. Concentrate on your trouble areas and if you don’t get everything yet, don’t worry!  We all help each other and cover for each other!

Calypso Bells: Listen, Have fun!  Practice slowly with attention to articulations, then try playing it through up to tempo, at 100.

  1. The BB email list was shared with John as a way to open the lines of communication, and he will continue to use a blind list for present. There may be interest in providing a list of Bytown Band members email addresses to all, so that you can more easily arrange joint rehearsal times, or send notes if someone in your section misses a rehearsal and music can be scanned and sent. PLEASE EMAIL to let him know if you wish to be excluded from the band list that will be circulated to all for the purpose of sharing email addresses within our band!

Please remember to pack shoes or slippers when the weather is wet, and slip into them in the entrance or hall when you come in.  This will save mopping up after rehearsal!

Happy Practicing!

Cathy and Felicia