Band Snippets

Musical Growth

MD’s Christmas
New Year Message

Out of the gloom
using Zoom.

by Ian Ramsay

The Covid lockdown period took its toll on the music industry and as a result an estimated 99% of community based bands folded.
However Camden Community Band defied the odds by turning to technology to maintain their strict rehearsal regime by practicing online using Zoom.
Tuesday nights were dedicated to practice which enable band members to meet and greet and then practice as a band.
It was this dedication the their craft that has now enable the Camden Community Band to bounce back and give the Camden community a concert outside the NAB bank on Saturday 19th November 2021.
The event was very well received by those who stopped to enjoy the concert which saw maestro Murray Bishop leading the band through a repertoire ranging from Bach to the Bachman Turner Overdrive and they were in total overdrive as they played a great variety of music.
With lockdown easing the Camden Community Band is breaking down the barriers and getting out there doing what they do best, providing great music.
Camden, New South Wales.

As restrictions continue to ease in the wake of this latest Covid mess, we are finally able to get back to doing what we enjoy….playing music together!

No more will we resemble a cross between the Brady Bunch credits and a Muppet show, but subject to conditions we can restart physical rehearsal. For those who were unable to join us online you missed loads of fun, challenges, music and camaraderie. We played, listened and laughed but most importantly, we checked in on each other and supported each other.

I am looking forward to our successful return on the 26th October with solid steps forward to a busy period ahead as life continues to return to normal!


Members’ Urgent Notices

The replacement for the cancelled Berrima Australia Day Parade is our very own concert in Camden, NAB building. Please register.

The January Playlist has now been published. Please log in and ensure you have all the pieces ready.

Rehearsals resume on Tuesday 11th January 2022!

All COS members encouraged and welcomed to attend!


Please be aware that to protect
Members and the Community
Safety Plan is in-force.

Moving On

Despite cancellation of the Berrima Australia Day March, the Musical Director Murray Bishop remains strong in spirit. In his email notification to members of the cancellation (13-JAN-22), he reflected on the positive practice session the band put in at their first rehearsal for 2022.

He was most appreciative of the high standard band members were able to achieve despite a four week hiatus from rehearsal. He stated “…the level of musicianship demonstrated  last Tuesday Night augers well for the upcoming State Championship.”

He went on to state “one positive from the cancellation is that the band has more time to concentrate on perfecting our pieces for the Band NSW State Championship. This will be our second time entry in the competition and I’m confident  the band will excel!”

Camden RSL

The President of the Camden RSL Sub-Branch Iain Richard-Evan will be meeting with key members of Camden Community Band (CCB) next week to plan the ANZAC Day activities and a concert. “Whilst we do not know what restrictions COVID might impose, I am determined that ANZAC Day Services will be of the highest quality.”

He went o to say, “I’m eager to provide a venue for Camden Community Band to entertain our local community. To this end, we are planning a fund-raising concert around Easter to be held at Carrington.” Details will be published soon.

CCB Musical Director Murray Bishop stated his appreciation of the financial support, commitment and encouragement provided by the RSL. This partnership benefits the community as a whole.


1st Public Performance
Since Return From

COS band promo video
COS Ensemble

Technical Skills Series

13 brief YouTube clips from MBM and presented by Murray Bishop.

These simple to understand, informative and essential tutorials are a must for anyone wanting to improve their music.  Watch these short YouTube videos for magical results.

What’s In a Key?

Probably the most common phrase I have heard over this Christmas period apart from where and when can I get a Covid test is; OMG look at the key! How many flats/sharps etc.!

It’s funny, but why do key signatures that use more than 3 flats or sharps scare so many musicians? Is it because we don’t normally play in them? Are we scared of making a mistake by omission? Or is it something else….. it must be a psychological thing because in reality they are just simple notes!….it’s like using the black note on the piano, they aren’t any different really.
The first step to overcoming that aura of fear about key signatures is to face your foe…..practice scales and pieces in those unusual keys (notice I didn’t say hard, I say unusual) and listen to them, what you hear in a particular key is the “Tonal Centre” of the work, where does it feel comfortable, the relationship between the notes is no different to a piece without a key signature, it simply sounds higher or lower, rely on your ear to tell you if it sounds wrong or right!

Secondly, look at the key signature of concern and actually say to yourself the notes that are affected. Foe example; the key of B major has 5 sharps: F,C,G,D,A……. look at them and tell yourself the correct fingering pattern for each sharp, we generally know the first three so concentrate on the last two. Then when you see a key change, look at what notes become changed and actually tell yourself which ones they are.

Thirdly, stop putting a mental barrier in your path. So many times I hear players say “I can’t do that” before they even try or ”that’s too hard” and “Ill never get that” even before you really look at the part…… its funny the number of times you will encounter a challenging key signature only to find that the odd sharps that cause you so much pain aren’t there anyway, remember the key is the Tonal Centre not necessarily to the notes you are required to play.

Lastly, if you need to, write penciled in sharps and flats adjacent to the respective notes…. This may help but it does little to building your confidence in managing multiple keys, use them and only leave the ones that are absolutely necessary whilst rubbing out the others.
Don’t shy away from unusual keys, take them as a challenge and build your playing skills a little higher each time!


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