MSE – End of Year Review – Important – Please Read Carefully !

Hi all,

Now that we’ve played our last concert of the 2012/13 year and as promised back in November 2012, I’ve reviewed the band’s status.

I’ve written and re-written the review document a number of times, looking for a kindly way to put the message across.

… but there isn’t one.  This is a crucial point for the band, and we all individually have a simple but tough decision to make.

“Am I prepared to put the time and effort required, into making the MSE an active music group ?”

The rest is detail – and the accompanying documents explain much more clearly.

On Monday, we’ll play some music as usual, then get together to discuss the implications of the review.

Please take the time to read through the two documents carefully, so that we can have a productive discussion.

MDs Review August 2013 – Final

Running the MSE (July 2013) – Final

… and if you’re not able to make Monday’s session, feel free to pitch in by email.

Cheers Jem


Rehearsal – Monday 1st July

Hi all,

Firstly – thanks to all for the concert at Peel Cathedral on Tuesday.    Dunders reported back that the band is playing noticeably more ‘together’ than we were at the beginning of the year, so well done!   The event seemed to lack some of the sparkle of the Lorne House night, but I put that mainly down to having a very sparse audience – who all sat at the back !!   I’ll watch with interest to see whether the Wind Orchestra get a bigger audience when they play in a couple of weeks time (July 9th) 🙂

For this coming rehearsal, I’ve got a couple of new tunes for you…  The first is a Jon Halton piece, which you can download parts for etc. at this link on the website library >>>  Fascinating Rhythm.

We’ll also feature a new tune >>> the St. James Infirmary Blues.   I may put an arrangement together later, but for this coming rehearsal I want to hear you put your own take on this simple blues standard.   Follow the link to download the backing track (MP3) and solo sheets for Alto and Tenor.

Please have a go with this before Monday, so you know your way around the tune.  Each of us will play it through as a solo – and I’m looking for expressiveness, creativity, dynamic control of your instrument and the sounds it makes – and maybe a little bit of performance oriented pixie-dust !

In other words, for this piece throw away the shackles of ensemble playing – build your own set of dynamics that you think fit the piece, and give us your interpretation.

… and please watch out for my next post which is an invitation to discuss the future of the group based on my promised review of the band’s performance in 2013.

See you Monday, Jem

Peel Cathedral (25th June) Playlist

Hi all,

Please check out the final play-list below (in order).  See you at the Cathedral (7pm) for the setup stuff.

Cheers Jem


Tunes List – Peel Cathedral

I Got Rhythm

All in Good Time

Amazing Grace (Songs of the British Isles)

Groovy Kind of Love

I Feel Good

Lemon Meringue

Let my People Go

Putting on the Ritz

As Jem introduces ‘Our Prayer’, all those not playing should move to the side away from the stage area, and the six players will form a ring as the tune requires a lot of “body-language”.

Our Prayer

The remaining players should join the rest off-stage, leaving Ben to perform ‘Band of Brothers’

Band of Brothers

Little Brown Jug

Don’t get around much Anymore

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Summertime (New Version)

Suo Gan

Londonderry Air (Songs of the British Isles)

The Muppets Theme


Don’t worry, Be Happy !


Peel Cathedral Concert – Tuesday 25th June – 7pm arrival – 7:45pm start

Hi all,

Our last concert for the academic year will be held at Peel Cathedral on Tues 25th June.

The concert starts at 7:45pm, but as we need to get set up and tuned, and hopefully take a group photo outside … can you please be at the church by 7pm. – thanks.

We’ll be playing in formal gear (same as at Lorne House) – Gents white tops, black lowers and a waistcoat if you have one.  Ladies in MSE blue tops, black lowers.

We’ll decide on a final playlist tomorrow (Monday) in our rehearsal, but it will be closely based on our Lorne House playlist.

See you at the church.  Cheers Jem



MSE Rehearsal – Monday 24th June

Hi all,

Firstly, thanks for a great effort last night.  There were plenty of compliments doing the rounds afterwards, and the event raised just short of £ 1,200 for St. John’s ambulance !

Our next rehearsal (this Monday 24th June) is at Peel Cathedral– starting 6:30pm for a 6:45 downbeat.

We’ll play through a selection of our current repertoire, and will make some decisions about our final tune choices based on the Cathedral’s theme of young players.

Cheers Jem

BTW – Not sure what happened to the plan for folks to take care of their own stands until after the concert on Tuesday evening – I ended up taking home more stands from Lorne House than I brought with me 🙂

Finally, I’ll send another note out regarding arrangements for the cathedral concert.


Lorne House Concert Arrangements – Saturday 22nd June.

Hi all,

Here’s all you need to know about the Lorne House concert ….

Timings : The event starts at 7pm – Please be at Lorne House for the start if you can, but if not certainly by 7:15pm so that David and I can get everyone tuned up.  Ben and I will play three short pieces with CD backing to warm the audience up starting at 7:30pm, then we’re on at 7:45pm.

I’ll see how the time runs on the day, but I intend to play our whole set – the playlist is unchanged from the one I published a couple of weeks ago.

Directions : See map below.  Easiest way is from the airport, drive towards Castletown and go straight-on at the roundabout into Bowling Green Rd.

Look for Pickard Close on your right hand side, and the gates to Lorne House are in front of you once you enter Pickard Close.

Follow the driveway up to the main house and someone will direct you for parking.

Dress : This is a formal event so please wear the smartest version you have …. Gents -> White Shirt, Black trousers and shoes.  MSE or other waistcoat if you have one.  Ladies -> MSE blouse, black lowers.

Don’t forget to bring your stands and music !  I’ll bring some banners.

… and here’s looking forward to a fun concert.

Cheers Jem



Rehearsal Monday 17th June

Hi all,

Thanks for a really productive rehearsal on Friday.  Hard work, but we covered a lot of ground.

For Monday, we’ll concentrate on  the tunes below – some we didn’t get around to in Friday’s session – others need a bit of finessing.

Please read the notes against each tune, and put in a little practice time as necessary to help us produce a good result on Saturday.

Thanks, Jem

p.s. – Jackie’s MIDI file for Londonderry Air should be on the website soon – under Songs of the British Isles part 1.


Rehearsal List – Monday 17th

I’ve got a Gal in Kalamazoo

– Tenors need to work on rhythm timing – section L, altos on playing section M confidently, all to play quietly with moderate swells

Amazing Grace (Songs of the British Isles)

– Generally ok, just need to run through for completeness

I Feel Good

– Tenors need to be confident when they are leading – to eliminate hesitancy

Lemon Meringue

– Altos and Tenors – please practice bar 49 onwards (after the quiet phrasing to ensure you play at the correct speed and don’t slow down.

Little Brown Jug

– Run through for completeness, and to check that everyone understands how the repeat works at the end.

Don’t get around much Anymore

– Check that those playing lead phrases are confident and on time – especially at rehearsal mark ‘C’

Londonderry Air (Songs of the British Isles)

– Generally ok, just need to run through for completeness

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Don’t worry, Be Happy !