Lessons from Contest Prep

Worked with The Lindley Band on contest preparation this past week. With MD Neil Jowett Monday and last week with Jim Davis (former Principal Cornet of B&R) who is taking Lindley to contest.

One idea continuously articulated to the band: “Don’t miss notes”. They say it regularly in rehearsal. I must say it really ups the expectation level. We talk about it in ABB but to say to each other, “Right, here we go at letter A, and the only reason we are doing it is so you can learn not to miss notes,” really changes the atmosphere. And personally it changes my mental focus when I’m practicing.

Second point is an almost fanatical adherence to the metronome markings. When B&R were in preparation for The Open, David King had the metronome on his stand the whole time (as Sal does) but the band took those markings very seriously (in ABB we seem willing to compromise the marking even when Sal points it out :).

Lindley had a copy of the P. Sparke NABBA test piece.  After what I have had to play the last 3 weeks it doesn’t seem hard at all. Let me know if you have questions about it and I’ll be glad to get you some answers.

Good luck!


P.S. I have now been told for a second time that I’m 4th man down with Brighouse through Christmas (UPDATE:  9 October:  5th man down and rotating). A very big deal and a huge honor. After that we’ll see what happens. Chops are really starting to respond to all the playing. More later…..

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