ONHB Virtual Bands

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fall 2020 session will take place online. This page provides information about the virtual bands and some tips for installing and configuring the Zoom application.

Key Information Applying to All Band Rehearsals

  • Dates: Eight weeks from September 28 to and including the week of November 23, skipping Thanksgiving week.
  • Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Location: Zoom meeting online; participants will receive an invitation by email prior to the beginning of the Zoom meeting.
  • Fees: The fee will be $60 for one band with no extra charge for any additional band
  • Refunds: Withdrawal must take place before the third week to receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative charge.
  • Registration: Registration should start in mid-August; check your emails from the ONHB for related announcements.
  • Concert: Due to the circumstances, there will be no concert.

Description of Bands

Classics with a Twist (Band Leader – Colin Williamson) Mondays 7-8
Concert band, intermediate level

Start your week off right with some of the most beautiful melodies written for the concert band. “Classics with a Twist” will be a musical journey that includes some of the most beloved standards in the band repertoire. All of our music has been selected to lend itself to our remote practices with seamless transitions and just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting for everyone.

These listening links are the final draft picks – the intention is to play the ones that work for the ensemble.

Songs of Earth and Beyond (Band Leader – Felicia Persaud)  Tuesdays 7-8
Concert band, beginner-intermediate level

Songs of Earth and Beyond will take you on a journey that is truly ‘out of this world’. We will work together through at least 4 pieces, covering a variety of styles and exploring different musical concepts. There is a little something for everyone!

These listening links are the final draft picks – the intention is to play the ones that work for the ensemble.

Focus pieces:

For Fun:

Broadway in the Fall (Band Leader – Sheila White)  Wednesdays 7-8
Concert band, intermediate level

A musical tour of Broadway, exploring some of the greatest hits throughout the history of Broadway while enjoying musical selections inspired by the season of Fall. Every rehearsal will also include a run through of a new piece from the collection: Essential Elements Broadway Favorites (Hal Leonard publication) which registrants are asked to purchase in advance.

These listening links are the final draft picks – the intention is to play the ones that work for the ensemble.

Easy Jazz Tunes – Sonic Tonic  (Band Leader – Cathy Wilcox)  Thursdays  7- 8
Jazz band, beginner-intermediate level

Come and play singable jazz tunes that percolate with a positive vibe and rich harmonies that are guaranteed to lift your soul!  We will focus on four classic jazz tunes, but include two or three additional tunes for a read-through challenge and change of pace. Registrants are encouraged to purchase Easy Jazz Classics15 Selections for Young Jazz Ensemble (Hal Leonard publication).

These listening links are the final draft picks – the intention is to play the ones that work for the ensemble.

Focus pieces:

From Easy Jazz Classics:

Small ensemble / solo/ bonus pieces to try out – possible read throughs mid-way through session?

  • Splanky (Neil Hefti) (Level 1) piano featured; from First Year Charts – Belwin (Available in Smart Music)
  • Shallow (Level 2) (arr. Paul Murtha) (sax solo)
  • Easy Does It (Erik Sherburne) Level 3 challenge piece – solo for Bb (trumpet/clarinet/tenor)- flex arrangement for small group, flex combo
  • Cute (Hefti, arr. Mike Story) – (Level 2) drum solo

How to Participate in Virtual Band Rehearsals

  1. All rehearsals will be conducted online via the Zoom app.
  2. Members will need to install the Zoom app ahead of time. See below for some tips on installing and configuring Zoom.
  3. Members will be expected to download and print their music from Dropbox.
  4. Typically, band leaders will conduct while playing an MP3. All players will be muted and so won’t be able to hear what others are playing.

Tips for Installing and Configuring Zoom


  • Zoom is available on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
  • Basically, just download the Zoom app and install it.
    • For tablets and smartphones, visit the corresponding app store.
    • For desktop computers, visit the Zoom download page.

Recommended Audio Settings

It is strongly recommended that you modify your Zoom settings to avoid issues with the audio cutting out while music is playing. Since Zoom is used mostly for voice meetings, there are default settings that adjust the volume automatically and manipulate the audio to eliminate useless background noises, among other things. These settings are not appropriate for playing music over Zoom. The following video explains how to remedy that:

Tips for Participating in a Zoom Meeting

  • In-meeting controls: Zoom controls are used to mute and un-mute the audio, start and stop your video, view just the speaker or the other participants, etc.
  • Seeing the band leader: If possible, place your music stand where you can still see your Zoom screen while playing your instrument. This will be helpful if you want to keep an eye on the conductor as you play, as would normally do during a physical rehearsal.
  • Etiquette: Learn about the etiquette of Zoom meetings. Here’s one of many guides found on the Internet:  Top 10 Tips for Good Zoom Hygiene and Etiquette in Education
  • Audio and Video Quality: For participating in the ONHB band rehearsals, almost any equipment will be sufficient, especially since you, as a member, will not be playing your music for others. However, people who use Zoom extensively, especially in a professional setting, may want to buy a good external microphone and, if possible, a good video camera.


Don’t hesitate to ask for help with any of this. Your fellow musicians and the band leaders may be able to help you. If you’ve never used Zoom before, you may even want to ask a fellow musician to set up a one-on-one meeting with you just to make sure everything works. Then, on the night of your first rehearsal, you can just relax and enjoy the music.

You can also email the webmaster at webmaster@ottawanewhorizons.com and they will make sure you get the assistance you require to make the most of your online band rehearsals.