Thank goodness! Finally feeling much better today. Saw the doc yesterday and she gave me a serious cough suppressant w/ codeine, and it really works. Of course it also makes my feet warm and numbs the chops, but I’m happy not trying to cough up a lung every 15 seconds.
Last night with B&R I played 5th man down, then Rep, then 3rd man down. Very confusing….. There are two huge stacks of music out right now for tomorrow in Huddersfield and next Sat. at Royal Albert Hall. I was wondering why I don’t seem to be able to get comfortable at rehearsals and realized it is that I’m sight-reading virtually every piece in every rehearsal. Even with the music we are playing tomorrow, I have not had a chance to look at the solo cornet book as I played flugel for both rehearsals last week, and was too sick to practice over the weekend when I had it here at the flat. I suppose that is one of the big differences between here and back home. Here we have a new show with new music all the time. 4 rehearsals spent on one concert seems to be a luxury.
Last night I was pleased to meet Richard Evans who is conducting B&R at the Brass in Concert contest near where Sarah’s family originates. Richard is described on 4BR as “One of the most colourful and flamboyant characters on the British brass band scene today”. He was very kind and able to get what he wanted out of the band while fostering a lively and relaxed atmosphere. Richard was recently in the US conducting Brass Band of Battle Creak and one of his best friends is Maurice Murphy of LSO fame…….I’m really still adjusting to being with what amounts to brass band royalty.
Contest preparations are going well for The Lindley Band. Jim Davis was with us for both rehearsals last Sunday, and on Wed. The band met last night (with him again) but I was of course at B&R. We meet again tonight for our final rehearsal. One of the B&R players asked me what the test piece was and when I said “Vintner’s Symphony of Marches” he responded “Oh that is very tough on the chops”. And he is right. The first movement is a killer. The 2nd and 3rd movements are not nearly as hard for the front row.
For The Pontins Contest we meet at the bandroom tomorrow morning @ 6:30AM, take the band bus 2-hours to the contest, and then try to win! I’ll be back to Huddersfield long before the contest is over as B&R has a 3:30 rehearsal with a 7:30 show. Should be just a wonderful day even with the 4 uniforms to keep track of.
3 small notes on band etiquette:
1-EVERYONE helps with moving all equipment including percussion equipment. I’ll give you guys the set-up and breakdown groups from B&R as I think it would really help us in the states. In Lindley we were able to get all the percussion equipment onto the van and into the rehearsal site (a church to simulate contest venue size) in less than 20 minutes. Many hands make light work.
2-Concert idea: When a piece is done, no one in the band moves to change their music until AFTER the speaker begins to talk about the next piece. This looks very professional.
3-Concert idea: When the band stands, everyone stays just as they are until the MD turns around to face the audience and bow, THEN the band turns in unison with the conductor to face the audience too. This does not apply of course to flugel, horns, and tubas who are already facing the audience. In addition the band sits down when the Principal Cornet and Principal Euphonium sit. The two of them work out when this happens.
I’ll write more on the weekend when we finish the contest and the concert.