Rehearsal Notes for November 8, 2016

Hello Bytown Band Musicians,

In this note: 

      1. Dates to Note:  Social Events, CONCERT DEC. 7
      2. Note and tip of the week.
      3. Rehearsal notes from Nov. 8
      4. What is scheduled for November 15
      5. Band Rep John Telner


  1. Social Activities:

This Tuesday, November 15, let’s get together for a quick dinner at 4:30 at The Greek Souvlaki Shack, 258 Bank Street (near corner of Cooper).  Around 15 Bytown Band musicians indicated they were interested in coming, and three Tuesday night Intermediate Band Elgin Encore members will be joining us!

If you are interested in going to dinner to celebrate the end of our fall session on Tuesday, December 13  at the Mill Street Brew Pub, 555 Wellington, please let Sue know on Tuesday or email her so she can make reservations.

Gary and Sue

Key Dates:          

Thursday November 17 at 10:00 to 11:45:  Presentation on SmartMusic in Fellowship Hall at DC
Tuesday, November 29: “Dress” rehearsal in the sanctuary/ Final rehearsal of the term
Wednesday December 7 at 7:00pm:  ONHB Concert, at DC,  reception to follow, band members please bring finger foods (cookies, fruit, cheese and crackers) or juice, sparkling water, etc.

Tuesday, December 13:  Dinner at the Mill St. Pub (details to follow)


  1. Please review the notes for playing with dynamics from last week. Practice long tones at a variety of dynamic levels.  Whether playing forte, mezzo forte, mezzo piano or piano you should be playing with the same feeling of support from the abdomen and the same air speed. Always aim for a beautiful, energized tone quality. This comes from having engaged, activated muscles… not at all the same thing as tense muscles!  Like athletes, we get our best performance when our bodies and minds are fully participating with anticipation and without tension.  Think ahead, prepare the embouchure and breath support sufficiently, and “hear the note in your mind” before the first note is played.


   Rehearsal Notes for November 8:

This week, we reviewed EE 38, 41, and 49, and looked at 52 (which has three exercise lines and one choral)

Sanctus: The brass section is really using their ears in this piece, and blending their sound.  We need to all do this by listening to our neighbours and not playing louder or softer than they are playing.  The alto sax section is three times bigger than in a balanced concert band, and so they will have to be extra aware, and mark their dynamics one step softer than is written in the music. We continued to practice moving through the notes, thinking of the phrases moving forward (horizontal thinking) rather than thinking note by note (vertically). Remember, woodwinds, that the notes should connect like beads on a necklace, with no spaces between notes. Keep your air blowing with a steady stream and use gentle, precise, dooey tonguing to “cut the air flow”.

Crusade:   We ran the transition from slow to fast as well as the layering of the parts. Remember not to love the forte too much until the end. The articulation is very important here. The tenuto (line above or below a note signifying extra weight or fullness) isn’t too long,  and the staccato is just a little shorter. In general, if your part is whole notes, they are usually not the tune, but a supporting harmonic part… so play them more softly and listen for the part that has the moving part (quarter notes, eighth notes, etc.)

Hanging tree:    Reminder to check your rhythm at the end! This is sounding really great! Again, if your part is whole notes, this is not the tune, but a supporting part… so play whole notes more softly and listen for the part that has the moving part (quarter notes, eighth notes, etc.)

Calypso Bells: This piece is really starting to take shape, and come to life. We reviewed that the flute/oboe/clarinet trill at mm 37-38 is trilling to the note above the note printed on the page (clarinets are split, and choose one of the notes on the page and trill to one note higher than the note on the page).  The flutes are still overpowered when they have their turn at the tune at mm 29, but we hope to really hear them next week (a combination of more flute and less of everyone else).

4    Rehearsal Notes for November 15:

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)

Sanctus:  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.  We will also work on blending and stagger breathing

Crusade and Hanging Tree: We are going to practice running through these 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: The articulation is coming! Continue to practice saying the articuation  ta ta (sh) ta tah-ya  tat. The overall feel will be lighter, but practice slowly by singing then playing the articulation! When you play the tune in quarter notes: “Dashing through the snow”, really bring it out, forte, playing more legato (smoothly, singing style) in contrast to the light calypso eighth note fluff that others are playing.

Percussionists, listen carefully one time through, then listen to it a second time and try making up a part for fun on your instruments for this piece, playing with the recording.  The important thing to remember is that it is the steady, jolly feel of the piece that the audience will enjoy, so the cabassa player should smile and look at the conductor ( who cares what the music says!), and the AWESOME clave player should play like a soloist… really cut through the band with a bossy sound.  Check your hand position to make the most of the resonance.

  1. 5.John Telner is our new Bytown Beginners Band Rep. The BB email list will be shared with John as a way to open the lines of communication, and he will also 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. We will ask your permission, or create an exclusion list for people who do not want their email shared in band, before any action is taken on this.

Cathy has a few ONHB black T shirts and Golf-style shirts left from last year’s order.  We will be ordering in January, but if you would like to buy one of these shirts, you can bring cash to next rehearsal and take home a new shirt.  (First come, as there are only 5 T shirts and 1 golf shirt….no email reservations, sorry!)

Sizes in stock: T SHIRTS: ( ($15)  2 large,  2 medium,  1 small    GOLF SHIRTS ($30)  1 large men’s

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