Two things often become noticeable when returning from a long break in playing;
The first is skills…… our brain relegates the common things like breathing and reading of music to our long term memory meaning it doesn’t naturally occur as it did before the break. These are relatively easy things to recall and it’s done by simply playing at home or concentrating a little harder than we normally need to do when in rehearsal. This is not a criticism of anyone, after really not reading a score for four months, I found I was missing things that I normally take for granted and on top of that there are times when I feel my arm doesn’t do what I want it to do so I am very much in the same boat!
Secondly, the control over our playing diminishes, usually in the soft playing we find our lip simply doesn’t hold its shape or the pitch doesn’t stay or we run out of air before the end of the phrase. All these things can be readily overcome by soft, slow playing . Play some soft long notes when you set up for band, use a mute if you think you will play too loud but with a minimum of effort, you will play back at your former level.
Last nights rehearsal started with some hymn work for the upcoming Remembrance Day service and it worries me that we have in our Anzac folders now two versions of the same hymns, due to the need for flexibility within the ensembles, can I ask that you clearly mark your part so you don’t get confused between the full band versions and the Flexi versions (written by Joan Thorp) these newer versions will allow us to provide a full sound with a smaller ensemble as required.
On the subject of marking parts, please mark the end of Benny Goodman with information Of when you play in the 4 times repeat, we have consistently crashed in this section as it is indistinct and really needs to stand out.
Next week, please be sure to have all the Anzac folders up to date with both versions of the hymns and all the anthems etc.