Week 5 update from Feb 16, 2017

Greetings Capital Crescendos,

Themes for the Week:  Getting the most from your practice time:  Identify the specific areas you need to work on. Rather than working through the entire piece, try to zone in on the sections that you find particularly challenging – whether it be the notes or the rhythms .  Whatever pieces or sections may be challenging for one instrument will be different for another.

This week’s rehearsal

This week we had full band rehearsal for both hours. There will be one more clinic on March 2.

As this is the half way point for the session, and to get a sense of how everything is sounding at this point (and identify the sections that we need to work on) —  we played through most of our repertoire in the following order:
O Canada
Chorale No. 1
Air for Band
76 Trombones
Land of the Midnight Sun
Hava Nagila
Celtic Air and Dance (we ran out of time, and will start with this one next week).

We started our rehearsal with O Canada (Unison Melody) which is a terrific piece to use for warming up as we all know the melody and can focus on beautiful notes and breathing.  We moved on to O Canada (Version 2).  Sheila then tuned the band, explaining that tuning is always in reference to the same note (played by one of our band members).  Next we turned to line 87 in Tradition of Excellence followed by Birdland, noting the key change at bar 61. We then played Chorale No. 1 from the music book Bach and Before for Band by David Newell which is available at St John’s Music. The book is specific to your instrument (check at the top for your instrument name) and includes an excellent selection of pieces to use for warming up, working on tone, and ensemble playing. Each piece is arranged for solo, duet and four part harmony playing.

Next we played Air for Band, which has the same key signature as Birdland, but is in its relative minor.  To find the relative minor key, start with the first note of the major key, for example the key of E♭ Major, and count up six notes (E♭, F, G, A♭, B♭ and C) to identify its relative minor key, c minor. Note that at section E, the key changes from c minor to C Major.  We then turned to 76 Trombones and reviewed the roadmap (see notes from weeks 2 and 3).  Sheila asked that for those musicians playing a long note at bar 79, please add a sfz (sforzando) or accent.  The tempo for this piece will be between 108 and 112.

Following our break we played line 146, the d natural minor scale.  Sheila explained the three types of minor scales; the natural minor (also known as the Aeolian mode), the harmonic minor (the seventh note is raised a semi-tone) and the melodic minor (the sixth and seventh notes are raised a semi-tone on the way up and then they are both lowered on the way down). We then played Land of the Midnight Sun using a tempo of 100,  followed by line 44 from Tradition of Excellence, and then Hava Nagila.

Next week.

In addition to working on your band pieces, review the scales that the pieces are in.  Next week, we will be working on Land of the Midnight Sun, Hava Nagila, Air for Band and Birdland.
Continue listening to the audio links.

Audio links

1, Hava Nagila  http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10312051
2. Air for Band By Frank Erickson     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrCsUo1ribI
3. Land of the Midnight Sun by Vince Gassi  http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10050559
4. Birdland by Joe Zawinul, arr. L Norred   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWJ0it4TfkE&list=PLd_hfxSSaY8AvhLFyy4MxyRgmJfWjs0e3&index=2
5. 76 Trombones, arr. M Sweeney  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VTB4sCv9HA    NOTE: we will be playing at a slower, even tempo
6. Celtic Air and Dance, arr. M Sweeney http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10033567  

Mark your calendars — our next get together is Feb 23rd. We’ll meet for brunch before band, 11:00 AM at our favourite spot, Connor’s Gaelic Pub at 313 Bank St. As always everyone is very welcome.
Important Dates
Thursday March 16:  No band rehearsal
Thursday April 6: Final band rehearsal of the session
Sunday April 9 at 3:00: ONH end of Session Spring Concert at Dominion-Chalmers
Thursday, April 13th: Community Concert  Location TBA