Welcome to the new year! it was exciting to see such a full band for our first call of the year and to be able to say hi to so many!

A couple of housekeeping matters first just to start the year off:

As you are aware we are under the scrutiny of council regarding noise issues and whilst we await the outcome or indeed the next chapter of the ongoing saga may I request that you keep an eye on the doors so they are closed as often as possible and of course any noise outside at the end of rehearsal in an effort to stay nice!

Covid is still with us as is the need to maintain our vigilance and procedures. At this point we will not be taking temperatures upon arrival as we have not been in a covid situation for weeks in the local area, but signing in is a prerequisite of attendance as is staying away should you experience any symptoms or feel unwell.

Its certainly an interesting challenge to put together an entire program in a single rehearsal and it shows the continued development of the band that we got through the entire repertoire in one go with very few rough edges! a couple of things to keep in mind from last nights efforts: Check your keys! write or highlight the changes on your part so you don’t miss them as with a live call on one rehearsal you can’t afford to miss them. one thing I noticed several times last night was the ends of phrases and sustained notes. there was a tendency to hold them a little longer than written which makes for a rough release across the ensemble, keep this in mind.

Probably the greatest piece of advice that I was ever offered when faced with a performance on no rehearsal is simply to watch! the harder it gets, or the higher the pressure of the gig the more you should rely on your conductors, they will give you the cues, the tempo and the volume and they will take the guesswork out of the performance but only if you let them!

The last reminder is for the charts: Australian and Aussie Medley, both have sections in them where you can clap thump or make party noises (Aussie Medley bar 141 repeat which is not written in but mentioned by Harold last night) make the most of these, the more movement and noise we make looks better on camera so have loads of fun!

I am looking forward to a positive year with the band, I realise we still live under the covers of Covid and cancellations but I will not be letting any of those things stop us developing and enjoying our music to the max.