Firstly; thank you to the members who availed themselves of the 6pm opportunity for sectional rehearsal, we cleared up several points in several places.


It was pleasing to see the bulk of the band ready to go at 7pm, that extra 30 minutes gave us a huge opportunity to work on our music.


Next week will follow the same format: 6pm sectional for any who wish to attend followed by a 7pm rehearsal start.


Musically speaking, we have the notes down, we have most of the extra markings down and we have some stunning playing occurring so all we need to do is more of the same!


As was subtly posted in front of the band last night, Dynamics remain one of our greatest challenges, they are easy to ignore, hence the request to highlight them! This is not unique to our band but something that all ensembles struggle with at times, yet when we get on top of them, the music takes on its own life.


If you have ever wondered why they are called dynamics then some clarity. Volume is flexible, just because it says Forte in one spot the next forte 30 bars onwards doesn’t have to necessarily be the same, it needs to be relative to the preceding and post volumes marked, it also needs to blend with the other parts of the ensemble. Two contrasting areas can illustrate this. 1 Exuberance: this contains a number of rhythms and melodies but generally not happening at the same time, therefore we can play with strength and confidence which lends our sound to being a little loud at times, against this is 2 Overture, throughout this piece nearly every section has numerous counter melodies and reference to other melodies with in it, this is what makes it so complex as we need to make room, so all the melodies are heard equally, this means that at times our overall volumes must be controlled, but it also means that we need to respond instantly to changes in dynamic levels to keep the music flowing.


Personally speaking, I think we should pause a moment and think of the extent of the journey we have undertaken, none of us could have known what 2020 would bring upon us when we decided to enter this contest, yet together we have overcome so much to play at the standard that we are. Normally this would have been done and dusted a month ago and we would be out and about playing lots of fun pieces for audiences in our community, this means that not only have we missed the fun side of playing but the contest work has tended to drag on, yet we have accomplished huge strides forward in our ensemble and our standard of performance. I for one look forward to being able to play for a live audience again at the standard we have achieved.


Finally, thank you for all your perseverance, effort, attention to detail and for all the hard yards you have put in, be proud, be patient and enjoy the moment!