Contesting is stressful for lots of folks. Things in the Lindley band room are quite tense. On Sunday Paul (guest conductor for The Area) “pinned us to our seats”. It was a strong tongue lashing but by all accounts, apparently it wasn’t all that bad. One band member started crying. My guess is they were feeling the pressure from Paul but also their own pressure to do well and practice given their own limited time. To give you an idea of the pressure, I feel good about how I’m playing the test piece, but I was feeling very “on the spot”.
Then at rehearsal last night a player complained in a short tone of voice that the reason MD Neil Jowett wasn’t getting what he wanted was because the tempo was moving forward. Neil stopped the comment in its tracks. “No, it isn’t. And I’m not having a discussion about it.”
Tonight I’m back to B&R to listen. They had rehearsal last night as well as a long rehearsal Sunday so I’m guessing I’ll hear quite a lift in the standard. Of special interest to me is that Roger Webster is playing rep for The Area. Not to take anything away from Alex (the regular Rep who actually asked Roger to help) but Roger is a stunning player. It will be a treat to hear the section with Roger involved.
After tonight I’m with Lindley the rest of the week until Sunday when I go listen to the Championship Section.
ALSO: I’m honored to announce I’ll be conducting The Lindley Band in concert on 27 March. Neil has asked me to take all 5-rehearsals between the contest and the show starting a week from tomorrow. This is a wonderful opportunity and I look forward to working with the band from the other side of the podium.