Rehearsal Notes for Oct. 4, 2016

Hello Bytown Band Musicians,

What an exciting Tuesday night (for Bytown Beginners and Bluejays fans)!  We are making good progress on mastering the fingering for the first 6 notes in various patterns and sequences, as presented in Essential Elements through well-known pieces such as Go Tell Aunt Rhody (line 18) and Au claire de la lune (line 28)!  We were very impressed by the progress made on the designated measures in each of our three pieces!

Rehearsal Notes for Oct 4:

This week, we reviewed EE lines 9, 10/11, 14, 17, and began working on lines 18, 23, 25, and 28.  We reviewed measures 1-27 inSanctus, and also played mm 53 – 61 (a re-stating of mm 19-27) as well as 61 – 64, which is the fourth, climactic version of the theme which is first played at mm 9 and repeated with a different cadence at the end the second time through, and also at mm 27.  So, by practicing a few measures, we know most of the piece!  We also worked on Crusade mm 1-9, mm 36-45 and 64- the end. We can already hear the drama and energy in this piece!  We played The Hanging Tree, mm 25 – 28, and 33 – 41.

For October 11:

Continue to review the long tones in the first lines of EE as a warm up, to get your posture, embouchure, and hand position set correctly, and to get your air flowing freely and steadily. Review lines 14,17, (18), 25, and 28, and look ahead to 24, 30, 31, 34, and 36 (*Pick-Up Notes –  aka upbeats – aka anacrusis. These songs use the same 6 notes, but in different patterns, such as thirds. Why not try making up your own song using these 6 notes?  If you play along with the professional recording for these pieces by going online or using the CD you will be supported to play in tune with a beautiful tone, with a steady beat, and the correct rhythm patterns as well.

SmartMusic is a great computer tool which allows you to play the EE pieces by looking at the music on your computer or Ipad, and after you play the piece you can see which notes you played correctly, and which you missed (either rhythm or pitch – a wrong note is shown in red).  It is very helpful, especially to true beginners! and it appears that there is a free trial period.  Why not try it out?  It contains several method books, as well as pieces to play.

Sanctus: Read through this week.  Measures 27- 35 feature the oboe and alto sax (beginning to play on a beat 2!!)  Oboe and Altos especially, please follow the link below and enjoy the piece –  listen to the recording and don’t look at your music!  When you listen a fourth or fifth time, listen particularly for your part, and the next time, try following along in the music and doing the fingerings on your instrument with the recording. You will then have a good idea how to come in on beat 2, which is a challenge!

The Hanging Tree:   17-33 (solo sneak peek for flutes: beginning- 9 and clarinets: 8-17)

Crusade: 1-20 and 68-end

Enjoy this Thanksgiving long weekend! We are so grateful to live in balmy Ottawa, Ontario, and are keeping people affected by the devastatingly extreme weather in our thoughts

Cathy and Felicia


Note excerpts from previous weeks for newcomers and as reminders!

  • Practice Tips:

10 – 15 minutes at a time is the best way to practice for the first weeks… but you could practice twice a day if you wish!

Pick up your instrument with the correct hand position at every commercial during your favourite TV show. Move your body to proper playing posture at the edge of a straight chair with no arms (or stand), and play a long steady note, with a consistent stream of air.

  • Play, or  take a break and “do the fingering”  without blowing, for two different pitches (like C – D – C – D), alternating back and forth, to get the feel of your fingers (or the slide) moving efficiently.  If playing, the tone of the pitches should sound clear, supported with strong, steady
  • Listening Links

We have three charts selected for this session.  Go ahead and listen! These pieces represent a range of difficulty, but are definitely doable!  For some instruments, there is an easy part and a more challenging part… you have a choice!

Sanctus (In 3) R W Smith

Hanging Tree  – arr Robert Longfield

Crusade   (with gong)

We may select one other piece from the following pieces.  It is so hard to choose! Do you have a favourite? (Can you guess which one is the easiest to play?)


You are invited to contribute $2 – $5 for juice and cookies for this session. If you missed the contribution basket, you can give the band leaders your contribution.

Volunteer Positions:

Social Sparkplugs (2 – 3 musicians) Thank you Anne Cole (tenor sax)… we need one or two more!

Refreshment pack up:  Felicia/Cathy and  ______________________ one more person, please!

Refreshment buying:  Thank you, Suzanne Anderson (flute)!

Trip to Potsdam      The annual excursion to Potsdam, New York will take place on Saturday, October 29.  We leave Ottawa in the morning and join the Potsdam New Horizon’s Band for the afternoon, followed by a fabulous potluck dinner provided by the Potsdam musicians.  Carpooling is encouraged.  The drive to Potsdam takes under two hours.  Next week there will be a sign up sheet for anyone interested in attending and for carpools.  Everyone is welcome, and the music will be level 1.5 (like Crusade) to 2.5.  There is no charge for the afternoon.  Remember you must have a current passport to cross the border.

Band Rep:  We will select a band rep in late October, early November.  The band rep serves for a two year term, and attends three Steering Committee meetings, as well as any subcommittee meetings or working groups he/she volunteers to join.

Key Dates

Saturday October 29: Trip to Potsdam, New York 

Wednesday December 7 at 7:00pm:  ONH end of session concert

When you have time, check out the New Horizons International Music Association at