Normally, I’d just receive a concert flyer and pass it on.
However, this time around, I’m positively encouraging you to come down to Peel to see IOMWO in action.
The playlist is varied and interesting to listen to – and it will hopefully give you an insight into how saxophones fit into a larger concert setting. There’s everything from quiet and expressive to light ‘n airy, to rip-roaring blow the roof off content.
… Not to mention that we’ll no doubt have a pint of two in the Whitehouse following the concert !
From the mists of time comes an old advertising board for IOMWO! I’m not sure whether the drummer is actually Sarn’t-Major Dunderdale or not. Comments on a post-card.
Firstly, thanks for a great concert at Peel Pensioners last night.
We were very well received, and got some lovely feedback from both the organisers and the audience. They’ve already asked us back next year.
Putting on my M.D.’s hat, I felt we did very well overall, and really pulled the rabbit out of the hat compared to a few weeks back.
As always, we had the odd slip – but this was contrasted with a moment or three of sheer brilliance, where everything came together just right.
Over the next few weeks, I’d like us to take our collective foot off the gas a little bit – Still working to improve our musical offering, but without the pressure of an imminent concert.
We’ve got a working repertoire, so now we can afford the time to explore a few of the tunes in more depth, look more deeply into balancing, expression etc. … and this coming Monday we’ll try out some stuff from ‘a different track’ – which should be fun and educational. This in addition to running through the 2 Manx Passion Tunes.
Thanks again – and I look forward to seeing you at Eastcliffe as usual on Monday.
First, some house-keeping stuff. Can you please make sure you’re parked up and in the venue by 7pm (parking can be tricky !), to allow us to set up without doing so in front of the audience (who tend to arrive quite early 🙂 ).
We’ll be wearing … Black Lowers / Footwear. Gents, White shirt plus an MSE waistcoat if you have one. Ladies, blue MSE shirt if you have one – if not, a white shirt is probably best. I’ll bring stands along.
Based on recent rehearsals, we’ve shown that we’re capable of making some really good music, but also some less-attractive sounds when we’re off our game / not concentrating.
I want us to produce the best ensemble sound possible on the night, so please ….
– Read through the notes below, and mark up your sheet music where needed to make sure you know where to play quietly, and where not.
– If in doubt, you’re generally playing too loud ! I’d rather have you playing too quietly then too loud, unless you’re leading the tune.
– When you play, remember to constantly listen across the band to ensure that you’re in tune – and don’t blow so loud that your tuning suffers.
Good luck for tomorrow – the Peel Pensioners venue is informal and fun, so lets go and enjoy ourselves.
|I Got Rhythm||Have fun, and use this to settle ourselves in / check tuning|
|A Whole New World||Sections C&D – Jem, Kyra, Andrea are the only Altos playing|
|Friend Like Me|
|St. James Infirmary Blues||Confident intro – Sections B & F should be very quiet and restrained|
|St. Louis Blues||Omitting bars 127 – 138, starting again at 139 !|
|Limehouse Blues||Maintain the pace, but don’t speed up to much in the funky sections from bar 76 onwards. Also, make sure you can handle the repeats confidently.|
|Londonderry Air||Concentrate on balancing solo / accompaniments. Overall, this is a very quiet piece, unless you have a genuine solo !|
|Amazing Grace||Needs gentle but confident placing in the accompaniment / rhythmic parts to allow the tune to come out.|
|Little Brown Jug||Starts off very quiet, then builds gradually.|
|Groovy Kind of Love||A ballad – portrayed nice and gently|
|Summertime||Don’t play this too slowly.|
|Hit the Road Jack|
|Wade in the Water|
|Manx National Anthem||Version in Concert F – Jem to bring parts along|
|Happy Birthday||Just in case !|
Firstly, please note that I’ve uploaded to the current repertoire page, the score / parts for both Summertime and the Manx National Anthem.
Monday evening will be our final run through and chance to correct any musical issues.
Can you please make sure that your music is in a suitable folder (not loose), and in play list order as below.
We won’t run through every tune, and some will only be skimmed through to correct specific errors.
Nevertheless, we need to allow for a slightly extended session as with last week – please do make every effort to turn up ready to play at 6:45pm.
Peel Pensioners Tunes List – Wednesday March 26th
|I Got Rhythm||Concert-ready – no need to rehearse|
|Arabian Nights||Concert-ready – no need to rehearse|
|A Whole New World||Sections C&D, Jem, Kyra, Andrea are the only Altos playing|
|Friend Like Me|
|St. James Infirmary Blues||Partial run through|
|St. Louis Blues||Omitting bars 127 – 138, starting again at 139|
|Limehouse Blues||Maintain the pace, but don’t speed up in the funky sections|
|Londonderry Air||Concentrate on solo / accompaniment balance|
|Amazing Grace||Check balance, and rhythmic consistency in backing parts
– Poss run one alto 2 only on rhythmic passages
|Little Brown Jug||Run through to ensure solos are solid.|
|Groovy Kind of Love||Rehearse If time allows … concentrate on quiet backings, fat quavers, and keeping the piece moving|
|Summertime (MSE Version)|
|Hit the Road Jack||Concert-ready – no need to rehearse|
|Wade in the Water||Concert-ready – no need to rehearse|
|Manx National Anthem||Quick play through at the end !|
I’ve had some positive confirmations, and no objections, to my plan to catch up ground prior to the upcoming Peel Pensioners gig – which is on 26th March at 7:30pm.
So – on Monday, we’ll start at 6:45 prompt with I Got Rhythm to warm us up, then we’ll be joined at 7pm by Chris Thomas and his double-bass, at which time we’ll run Hit the Road Jack and Wade in the Water.
After these, we’ll work our way through the repertoire as below – the aim is to make sure over the two rehearsals, that we can provide a solid performance on each tune when we have the full band in attendance.
As noted before, we’ll run our sessions later than normal (to nominally 9:30pm) – certainly for the first session and we’ll see what’s needed on the second.
… and in the meanwhile, please put some time in over the weekends to make sure you’re as up-to-speed as you can be.
Thanks all, Jem
Peel Pensioners Playlist
I Got Rhythm
A Whole New World
Friend Like Me
St. James Infirmary Blues
St. Louis Blues
Londonderry Air (Songs of the British Isles)
Amazing Grace (Songs of the British Isles)
Little Brown Jug
Groovy Kind of Love
Summertime (MSE Version)
Hit the Road Jack
Wade in the Water
I’ll admit that I was pretty worried by last night’s rehearsal. I genuinely lost sleep thinking through ways to get us back into shape in the next couple of weeks.
The two absences last night were unavoidable, but it showed that as a team, we’re overly-reliant on one or two key players.
In this instance, with Kyra taken out of the mix, we simply weren’t able to play some of the tunes confidently / straight through.
We can work on our resilience after the concert, but right now we need to ensure that we’ve got a safe repertoire for the 26th March.
We’ve got just tow rehearsals left until the Peel gig, and we need urgently to restore our confidence before then.
With this in mind, I’d like to run the next couple of rehearsals (Mon 17th and possibly 24th) in a slightly extended format.
I’m not suggesting that we keep playing until we drop to our knees, but we do need to run through most if not all the tunes with a full team on board to make sure that we’re able to provide a good musical offering to the Peel Pensioners crowd. I’d therefore suggest that ;
– We start at the normal time (but please, everyone turn up in time to start playing at 6:45pm),
– We have a limited mid-session break
– And we run to say max. 9:30pm
I’ve already offered to give Kyra a lift home, and I think everyone else has their own transport.
If anyone can’t work to this format over the next couple of sessions, then please let me know today.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Just click on the link to email me.