For several weeks I have been becoming more and more frustrated with our lack of progress in the preparation of phantom, the same mistakes keep getting made, the same things have to be stopped and fixed yet again. Last night was the first time we have moved forward substantially and boy was it a relief!

It was pleasing to see the number of people now marking their parts….. you might think this a trivial thing to do, but it makes a huge difference when for the first time in weeks, no one ploughed through the cuts or stumbled on the pauses.

I will be running sessions for a few weeks in the 6 pm time slot where I will be available to go through your parts or answer your questions or if you want to have a session with your section please use that time, we can accomodate two or three groups working together.

We paid a lot more attention to dynamics but there is always more to do in this area, in particular when we reach places with the full ensemble, there is still a tendency to lay back and let rip rather than observe the written marking, I think the thing to remember in these parts is that as the texture thickens the volume increases anyway, so you really don’t have to play much louder to achieve a solid forte.

Letter R is still a concern, not so much with the melody, but the shot nots in the background. Remember, you can’t breathe in and play at the same time, so it is vital that you have air support ready, embouchre formed and the note on the tip of your tongue before it needs to be played.

Please check the rhythm at letter O the bar with the 3 quavers then 2 tied quavers often (think of me fondly) is actually syncopated yet we play what we think it should be not what is written.

Overall, last nights rehearsal was a vast improvement on our current playing level, let’s not let it slip back but build on it further, well done team