Rehearsal Notes from November 22


Hello Bytown Band Musicians,

In this email: 

        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. Key Dates:          

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.

Two stage hands to help with set up of percussion and chairs at 5:00 p.m.:  Gary and Barry have taken this on! Thank you!

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 Mama Theresa Ristorante  6-8pm,  300 Somerset St W (at O’Connor).  Over 40 musicians from Bytown Beginners and Elgin Encores have reserved a seat!  We have a private room upstairs. Thank you, Sue and Gary, for organizing this joint event for the Tuesday bands!  Daphne Picklyk, our treasurer, secretary, administrator and head registrar, and behind-the-scenes helper at many ONHB happenings will be joining us as our guest so that we can celebrate her great contribution to ONHB!  If you would like to make a small donation to cover her meal and a gift, it would be most appreciated!  Please see Cathy or Felicia.


  1. Practice wisely! As the concert approaches, you may be tempted to put in more time on your instrument.  In music, as in sports, it takes time and regular training to be in shape for the performance events. Keep your practice to a maximum of a half hour at a time, and sip water between each piece. You can practice two or three times a day if you wish, but make sure to take a long break between sessions.

Here are the tips from last week’s notes:

“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.  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) and 55,

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 played through with great dynamics and energy!  Remember to keep the intensity and a beautiful strong tone 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. We noticed that when note values are held for their full value (especially the half notes near the end) and played with attitude and a slight lilting accent on beat one of each measure, this gives the piece such strength and character!

Calypso Bells: This week we played the piece at around MM 100, which sounded energetic, and the balance and blend are really coming along! The flutes are still being overshadowed when they have their turn at the tune at m. 29 but they played with lots of air (but not as much as the low brass … who really nailed their turn at the tune!) To be fair, trombones are bigger! Flutes, keep thinking of steady, strong air and a big, legato sound. : Listen!  Have fun!  Percussionists: Don’t be afraid to smile!  Everyone can see you because you are standing… be brave and GO FOR IT with that Calypso rhythm… play “loudly and proudly”.  If you enjoy yourselves, the audience will too!

4    Rehearsal Notes for November 29:

Please bring a pencil for dress rehearsal for last minute notes to yourself, and 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 mark your music stand with your name and an identifying feature. We will leave them for the Elgin Encore Intermediate Band for their dress rehearsal in the second hour, while we go down and rehearse in the basement following our refreshment break. (Don’t forget to pick up your stand before you leave!)

We will sight read Chant de Noel in the second hour, for fun!  Don’t worry about practicing it… it is not for our concert!

Kyle Nurse, our percussion clinician, will be coming for the first hour to augment our awesome percussion team.  Dominique Moreau, the other ONHB percussion clinician, will also be sight reading some parts that are not covered, like bongos and vibraphone, but he will not be at our dress rehearsal.

  1. The BB email list was shared with John, our band rep., 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 INCLUDED  on 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… but don’t overdo it!

Cathy and Felicia