Rehearsal Notes Week 8, November 7, 2017

Hello Bytown Musicians,

Our repertoire is really starting to take shape!  We are beginning the polishing of the pieces, and it began this week with tuning our instruments, working on phrasing generally in four bars “sentences”, and continuing to build our skill in using a variety of dynamic levels and articulations. Now that your embouchure is stronger, you should find that you can easily practice 30 – 40 minutes every day. There is no “cramming” for music performances!  If your embouchure becomes tired or is feeling strained, stop playing after 15 minutes, and practice your fingering or listen to the links, and schedule another practice later in the day. Also, pick up your instrument during commercials to practice a tricky fingering, position (trombone), or sticking.

To tune your instrument and to check that your pitches are centered on the correct pitch use a tuner. You could purchase a Korg tuner at a local music store, get a Snark to attach to your instrument, or download a tuning app on your smart phone:

Dylan (bari sax) likes this one:

Here’s the Android link:

Here’s the Apple link

Felicia recommends:

Tuner- Pitched created by stonekick. Very basic tuner app….but the above tuner is GREAT!

Guided practice sessions are being scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 22 for beginners who were unable to attend the Monday sessions last week. Check your calendar, and sign up  by email if you wish to get some practice tips and meet some fellow beginners. If you cannot find our emails  please check the contact us page on the website. 

This week we read: EE 17, 24, 25 (remove the breath mark four bars before the end, and stagger breath/sneak a breath anywhere but there!), 28, 34, 41 (eighth notes), 42,

For next week, practice:  EE  17, 25 (lightly), 28 (practice playing by ear and add in the missing part of the song – you can find the song with all four verses on Youtube            42, 43, 44, 49, 52 (of course, you can have fun trying some of the pieces in between)

It is important to listen to the links for each piece:1.  for the feel of the piece, and the overall map of the piece.    2. focus on your instrument   3. (It is faster than we are playing it now, but you can edit out some difficult notes, and aim to be on beat one for each bar) Follow with your music, with your instrument in your hands, doing the fingering/positions/sticking silently, not making a sound with your instrument (pp – pretend to play)

Ogopogo:  The piece is really starting to take shape!  Focus is increasingly on dynamics and shaping the notes with a crescendo (gradually louder) or diminuendo (gradually softer). Please remember to get down to a super soft dynamic at the end… the lake creature has left! Do not breathe before the loudest point of the piece imagine there is a slur from the previous bar.

Autumn:  Continue to focus on achieving a light, detached articulation at a steady, slow tempo…. More silence between quarter notes (black notes). This is easier if you use a tongue stop (tat-tat-tat) at a faster tempo. The half notes are played for their full value, but with no accent.  Aim to play slurs only where they are marked; some eighth note pairs are slurred and others are articulated.  

Big Raven:   Upper wind instruments may choose to edit out the second eighth note.  By practicing one bar over and over slowly and then gradually more quickly, you will get some of the tricky parts under your fingers!  Play with increasing attention to the articulations: staccato (short, detached notes) and tenuto ( the line indicates to play the note for the full value with extra weight in the middle of the note, not on the attack at the start of the note.

Twist and Shout   We played the whole piece at a medium tempo, and it is sounding really good!  Staccato notes are short, detached notes (don’t speed up on them).  The low instruments of the band have an important part in the second last bar, and it is sounding bigger each week! Great job!


Dress rehearsal:  December 5 on stage at Brookfield.

Concert Date:  December 10 at Brookfield HS  2 pm (BBB will warm up on stage at 1 pm, and set up volunteers will be needed at 12:30)  

Spring concert: April 15 … save the date!

Special “basic music reading and how-to-practice” optional session for beginners:   Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 1:30 or 6:30 pm  Please email Cathy if you plan to attend, and include your preferred time and instrument.

SmartMusic and Essential Elements Interactive are two ways to really maximise progress on learning to read music.

If you have not had a chance to try it out, check back in last week’s note for more info on your ID number and how to register. Last reminder!

  1. Autumn Antonio Vivaldi (arr Douglas Wagner – the version that we will play a fast and lively allegro)

  1. Big Raven Vince Gassi (Toronto composer – inspired by the paintings of Emily Carr, the sounds of the forest, and legends surrounding the Raven)

  1. Ogopogo(Legendary Lake Creature of Okanagan Valley, BC)  Robert Buckley (Canadian)

  1. Twist and Shout