Rehearsal Notes from October 11

Hello Bytown Band Musicians,

In this email: 

  1. Note and tip of the week.
  2. Rehearsal notes for October 11
  3. What is scheduled for October 18
  4. Music Links (including band pieces and NEW LINKS to music resources
  5. Past rehearsal Note Tips for people new to band or to the mailing list!
  6. Dates, Events: *Potsdam Trip (October 29) Info – Sign Up by email (by October 20)

1 Congratulations on a super rehearsal!  There has been great progress on playing correct pitches with rhythmic accuracy and with a steady, sustained tone. Making a musical, beautiful sound on an instrument is helped greatly by listening to a model sound, so please remember to use the recordings of the Essential Elements pieces as examples of the tone you are aiming to achieve. It is inspirational (and essential as you develop your own sound!) to listen to great recordings of respected musicians.  Check out the NEW LINKS to help you start exploring!

2 Rehearsal Notes for Oct 11:

This week, we reviewed EE lines 17, 25, 28, and played 30 and 36 (upbeat, or pick up note. Sanctus read through Crusade mm 1-20 (+) and 60 – end   The Hanging Tree 17-33 (+ a sneak peek from 1-17) Calypso Bells briefly looked at 4 bars (54-57), which is very similar to the opening of the piece for most!

As demonstrated in band, try the “ leaning against the wall push out”, with hands shoulder-width apart, feet far behind your shoulders, and “sss” a strong air stream through your teeth. Where do you feel the muscles engaging and supporting?  Ah ha!  These muscles need to be engaged (push out against your belt line, and below), as you play, and use your tongue to articulate the tongue lightly “releases” the steady air stream (too, too, too, too). You will notice the warmer, fuller sound you produce when you support from below!




For October 18 Rehearsal:

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 with engaged lower abdomen and pelvic muscles. Review lines 14,17, (18), 24, 25, 28 (try to figure out the fingering using line 147 in the book, and page 45 – 46) for the part of the song that is not written in the book!), 30, 31, 34, and 36 and look ahead to 41,43 and 49.   (We will get to 38, Jingle Bells, and 39 My Dreydl… let’s wait until November!!)  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. Keep all eighth notes very even and equal in duration!             (ti  ti,  ti  ti )

Sanctus: Read through with beautiful tone, and if there is time, with attention to shaping the phrases, and dynamic range.

The Hanging Tree: 9-33. Please listen to this piece! It will really help get the feel of the melody.

Crusade: 20-50

Calypso Bells:  Listen to the piece to get the Calypso feel of the rhythm patterns, and then listen again for your part, and how it fits in. Remember, a dot beside a note increases a note by one half of the duration of the note. A slur means to tongue the first note under the slur, and then simply do the fingering and continue the air flow without tonguing. A tie resembles a slur, but a tie joins two identical notes and makes them into one note played for the combined value of both. Practice measures 39-47 (Look ahead – 48 to the end if there is time).

Listen for pure enjoyment!  Sing along with your part! Do the articulation (rhythms to “ta”) along with the recording. Try the fingering up to speed with the recording.

Happy Practicing!

Cathy and Felicia


4 Listening Links

We have four charts selected for this session.  These pieces represent a range of difficulty, and listening to them several times will really help you to know the piece.  For flutes and clarinets, 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)

Calypso Bells by Todd Phillips

NEW!  Listen and watch professionals play to help develop your awareness of tone colour, articulation, and performance practices.

Joanna G’Froerer (flute) talks about Beethoven’s First and Fourth Symphony and demonstrates

Shauna McDonald (bio, link to listing of professional musicians in Ottawa

ALSO check out the Canadian Music Center for audio samples of recordings of primarily Canadian compositions and artists (search for your instrument… Here,  the clarinet is featured in Nightingales’ Rhapsody at You can spend hours listening to music samples on this site!

Alison Balsom (trumpet)

Search the internet or visit the library to discover top musicians on your instrument!

Attend live solo concerts like the Friday noon solo concerts at Dominion Chalmers (donation at the door)  Oboe is featured on October 28!

Explore the amazing online Naxos music library:

Spotify is an music listening app with a modest monthly fee that allows you to search for ANY piece, and listen to it, create your own playlists, and save music you select to listen to offline (important for those of us who have limits on our data!). It also offers you suggestions for new-to-you music based on your listening selections and habits!

SmartMusic allows you to practice pieces in Essential Elements and a selection of other repertoire in front of the computer. As you perform a piece, the notes you play correctly will turn green, and pitches and rhythms which need correcting turn red as you play them.

Check out the New Horizons International Music Association, where you can read about other NHBs,  find out about events such as band camps, and discover the benefits of joining the NHIMA as a member (for the price of a lunch at a coffee shop!) at

5 Excerpts from previous rehearsal notes:

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


Volunteer Positions:

Social Sparkplugs  Anne Cole, Gary Watson, and Sue Christian…. Thank you!

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

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

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.

New?  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.


6 Key Dates

Saturday October 29: Day Trip to Potsdam, NY     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 around 12:30 (for a 1 pm start) to play music (level 1.5 (like Crusade) – 2.5), followed by a fabulous potluck dinner at 5 pm provided by the Potsdam musicians.  Carpooling is encouraged.  The drive to Potsdam takes under two hours.  There is no charge for the afternoon.  Remember you must have a current passport to cross the border.

Where: SUNY Potsdam, Crane Campus, Bishop Hall Room C107. Please enter the campus on Barrington Drive and park in Lot 9, adjacent to Barrington Dr and Bishop Hall.
Details: Music will start at 1 PM and continue to 4:30. There will be a couple of short breaks. Campus rules prevent us from serving cookies, etc., but such snacks may be eaten in the hallways. No food or drink except water in the rehearsal room. At 4:30 we will progress to Trinity Episcopal Church on Maple St in Potsdam for a pot-luck supper, with the intent of allowing you to get a start back home no later than 7:30 (it is a dark drive this time of year). The plan is 20-minute rotation of conductors from the various bands on the podium. Thus at minimum, we should be able to read a total of 9 pieces, allowing for 2 15-minute breaks, and perhaps 1 or 2 more if 20 minutes is not required for a few pieces. As this is purely a sight-reading day, with just a little polishing time, we are not expecting to get anything to concert level–we simply want musicians to have fun being exposed to a variety of music. And conductors can sit and play in the band when not on the podium!


POTSDAM SIGN UP BY OCTOBER 20 to make sure music will be prepared for you!

Please copy/paste, fill in the following details, and email to Leslie (bass player in EE and CC bands) (note L is the first letter!)