Friday, 7 February 2014

A Note to Symphonic Band from Dr. McCullum

As you prepare for Optimist here are some things you should be thinking about.

Variations on a Korean Folksong:

There are 2 things that made your performance go from decent to phenomenal:

1)  Subdivision
2)  Articulation

For the sung lyrics:
  • Memorize the words (you already know the music)
  • Sing through beat 3
  • Sing in 4 bar phrases
  • Open your mouth - even if you don't think you have the best voice.
  • Jihun... make those antique cymbals sing out.
When you start to play at 17, you must subdivide in 16ths (1e&a, 2e&a, 3e&a, etc.)  this will stop you from playing beat 3 a bit shorter than it should be.  Remember how helpful it was when Cam played 16ths on the snare.

There are 2 Egyptians:  HA-TOO and HA-TOO.  Remember which the use of each type of articulation is extremely important to style.  Makes it.... "Looser."

Variation I:

People counting rest need to be subdividing in 16ths, so when the melody comes in it does not drag.

Remember the idea of thinking about phrases and either:

Normal (4 or 8 bars) or Abnormal (3,5,7,9 Bars)

The percussion section are the best teachers of articulations.... mallet choice = length of note.

Listen for Jihun's crash cymbal 5 before the Larghetto on beat 3!

Variation II:

This is HA-DOO and you are not breathing together hence the sloppy entrances.

Again - People counting rest need to be subdividing in 16ths, so when the melody comes in it does not drag.

Shape the accompaniment with Tamica's oboe solo.

Remember it is no longer about the notes, it is about the LINE.

Nick, with your trumpet solo at 108 don't stick out.... SOAR.

Variation III:

Trumpets we are now back to HA-TOO not HA-DOO.

As a whole, don't focus on the 16ths, instead think about the articulations.

Trumpets, don't wimp out on the dotted quarter at the end of the phrase.

Braxton sets the articulation  - using the butt end of his mallets.

Remember adjudicators are looking for the HUGE cymbal crashes at 140!

Trombones Attack is good, Sustain is good, but the release is not there.  The release needs to be mechanical and square.

Remember, t'bones to sit up like Gr. 12's and bring the instrument to you.

The End:

This is going to be conducted by Mr. Edwards in "1."  get there now.... don't wait.  This means it is going to be faster... a lot faster.  Be ready.  Dotted half note = 66-69.  So you can look to him to have the same gesture from the stick as you move from the sostinuto section into the con islancio.  Thus one beat of the 3/2 will equal on bar of the new tempo.

Siorai September:

This is all about TONE!

Individually  - Good,
as and Ensemble - not so much.

Solve it by paying more attention to the lows.  This will make your sound darker.

Who leads the crescendo?  Lows lead dynamic change.

So for a crescendo - lows grow 90% and the Highs grow 20%

Keep it dark.

Start HA-DOO.

Success in the big section at the beginning is all about starting a heck of a lot quieter at 8.

2nd and 3rd Clarinets going into 14 - you introduce the next section.... be proud not wimpy.

Band: Your Immediate Questions Answerd

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