Rehearsal Notes Week 9, November 14, 2017

Hello Bytown Musicians,

Great rehearsal, everyone!  Not only did we play all of our pieces almost at tempo and with dynamics this week, but we also sight read a French Christmas traditional piece “Chant de Noel”.  We have three more rehearsals before the December 10 concert at Brookfield HS, which is plenty of time to refine our playing even more!  If you have missed a couple of rehearsals, and are feeling discouraged and behind, this is not the time to quit!  We are a team, and each and every one of us is contributing.  Imagine if everyone in your section decided the day of the concert that they were not good enough, and you are the only one on your part.  We need each other. Your best is always good enough!

Remember, there is no “cramming” for music performances. Daily practice is best, but every other day can work as well.  You should be able to play for 30 minutes without any discomfort. Take sips of water from a glass to refresh your embouchure. If you become tired (you can tell by the change in sound quality) or your embouchure is feeling strained, stop playing!  Instead, practice your fingering, listen to the links, and schedule another practice later in the day. HOT TIP OF THE WEEK: Yoga breath right down to the chair, then push out and down = GREAT AIR SUPPORT AND TONE

Guided practice sessions are being scheduled for next Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 1:30 or 6:30 pm.  Sign up by email this week if you wish to get some practice tips and meet some fellow beginners.  Please email Cathy (subject line: Guided Practice November 22) if you plan to attend, and include your preferred time and instrument at

This week we read: EE 17, 24, 25, 28, 34, 43 (keep your column of air support),49, and 52 (lines i, ii, and iv)

For next week, practice:  EE  17, 25, 28 (practice playing by ear and add in the missing part Youtube (with an upbeat), 42, 43, 49, 52  (44 is extra practice for more advanced players)

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.  Try playing along.  Don’t worry if you don’t play all the notes. Remember – your best is good enough!

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).

Autumn:  Continue to focus on achieving a light, detached (staccato) articulation at a steady, slow tempo. The half notes are played for their full value.  Practice slowly to make sure that slurs only where they are marked; some eighth note pairs are slurred and others are articulated.

Big Raven:   This is our most challenging piece, chosen to show you the level of piece that the intermediate bands play, so you can determine if you are ready.  Beginners can edit out the second eighth notes in the faster section.  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- fast tempo, and it is coming along great!  It is important to play staccato notes short and not accented (soft).  The low instruments of the band have an important part in the second last bar… think big and powerful, and give it all you’ve got (remember the secret I shared about preparing your breath and bearing down?)


November 21:  rehearse in music room  (*final collection for gift for custodians and music staff at Brookfield – If you missed contributing and wish to, suggested $2)

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

November 28:  rehearse on stage for full rehearsal!

December 5    Dress rehearsal:   on stage from 6:30 – 7:30, then in music room second half.

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 for our Sunday afternoon concert at Woodroffe United Church!



  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