I am acutely aware that a number of our members are currently experiencing significant stresses and challenges in their personal and family lives, please remember that the band is there to support you as they can and whilst I sincerely hope these challenges are only temporary for you, band will continue sadly without you – but we want you to return only when you feel able to do so.

We are heading further towards taming Phantom as our own choice work for the states this year and our formal concert thereafter. It is vital to the continued development of our band that we don’t allow complacency to sneak into our playing – we should not have to repeat the sections we played last week for the same reasons – please, mark your scores, take note of what is said from the front and let us keep moving.

Dynamics remain the biggest challenge we face at present. Mainly because of the size of the ensemble, but also the fact we often ignore those changes or fail to see them in time – hence the request to make them stand out. I challenge you to literally blow our audience away with the volume control we achieve. I will be looking at altering our seating arrangements a little so we get some more clarity and space – this is not personal, but is to take into account our growing team.

Something that was said to mea couple of years ago whilst on tour in the USA – the word “rehearsal” is actually a combination of two things: “RE” and “HEAR”. In other words, our job on Tuesday nights is to “rehear” what we have practiced at home, replay what we learned the previous week and to hear our part in context with the rest of the band. It’s therefore important to listen, balance and play accurately with the entire ensemble all the time.

Keep up the effort and the growth, I know we can achieve great things by working together.