Reghearsal Monday 3rd November

Hi all,

With only a few weeks to go until our next Christmas concert and very limited rehearsal opportunities, it’s time to pump up our preparations a bit, so …

– Can you please make a point of attending every rehearsal session from now until the concert.

– For each session, I’ll list a number of tunes to go through – generally 6 or 7, which means that we need to be fully prepared, focused on the evening, and practiced beforehand if we’re to avoid finishing late.

– The tunes below are our focus on Monday.  If you’re not confident on notes, timing , repeats etc., then please put in some solid practice time before the rehearsal so that we can make concentrate on finessing our musical performance, not on the basics.

Thanks a mill, Jem




St James Infirmary

Just another lazy day

Comedy for saxophones

Shmooky and Mo

Standing room only

Preparation for Christmas Concerts

Hi all,

As a heads up, we have just rehearsal 5 weeks left until our first Christmas concert.  Take into account that Ben won’t be around on the 17th November, and that I’m bound to be in France either the same week or the next, and we only have 3 full rehearsals left !

Last night’s turnout of 4 players meant that whilst we did some excellent detailed work, we’re going to have to revisit much of the material as an ensemble, so adding to the time pressure.

This situation is quite worrying, as we’re still at the stage where we can’t play through some of our tunes without stopping and starting.  I see us as being 6-8 weeks away from a fully confident performance.

How can we make up some of the difference ?  If you’re not fully confident of your notes and timings, each of us needs to put in some serious off-line practice this week and next, so that our rehearsals can be targeted towards putting the finishing touches together, not on just getting the notes right.  It’s up to you now to pull this together.

I’ve made some subtle changes to the playlist – mainly dropping Persiflage for the moment – and have put in place a basic Christmas selection (see below).

Please make sure that your folders are updated wit the sheet music in playlist order, so we can move quickly from one tune to another in rehearsals.

Many Thanks, Jem


Christmas Playlist



St James Infirmary

Just another lazy day

Comedy for saxophones


Shmooky and Mo

Standing room only

Mock Joplin

Cool Saints


Carol of The Drum

Suo Gan

In the Bleak Midwinter

Carol of the Bells

Polish Lullaby Carol






MSE Catch up Mega-Post !

Hi all,

Sorry if this gets long-winded, but there’s lots going on at the moment …..

Rehearsal Mon 27th.  It looks like I dodged the bullet, and won’t have to travel to Paris until Tuesday, so we’re on for Monday evening.

I’ve re-worked the difficult section on ‘Just another Lazy Day‘, and “version 2 – Autumn 2014” is now on the Repertoire page.  I’ve changed all parts, so you’ll need to print off new sheet music.  It is much easier, as the emphasis is now always on the beat.

To show what can be achieved with some pre-prep, please could everyone take the time to practice bars 25-30, and make sure they turn up on Monday able to play the notes and rhythms confidently.  We should be able to solidify this in just a few minutes if you do the background practice before Monday.

Other Tunes for Monday’s rehearsal will include – Standing Room Only, Sleep, Relax!, Mock Joplin.

A new approach –  Link to document >>  MSE – Moving into 2015.

I’ve put together a document version with some explanations as to my thought process (link above).  Please do take time to read this through thoroughly and let me have your comments, as this will be the basis of next year’s work and I’m happy to fine tune aspects of it.  The MSE is your music group, so don’t be afraid to have your say.

New Concerts

Following our discussion about concerts on Monday, we now have three extra opportunities – all in one day.  Details are available on the Concerts and Events page in the website members area.     Christmas busking dates are there too.

The Peel Pensioners group don’t have a date for us yet, but we’re on for the end of the Spring Term.  Ramsey Methodist want us on March 14th, and St. Catherine’s Port Erin want us to open their summer season on July 2nd !

Cheers Jem

Concert at Glen Maye – Saturday 13th December

Hi all,

Sorry – I meant to ask you all specifically re your availability for this important concert.

Given that we’ve had to push back the date from late November, I’m really hoping for a full house 🙂  We have to let the folks at Glen Maye know asap, so can you please let me have your response as soon as you can. – latest by Wednesday please.

For info, the concert will be run at 7:30pm on the 13th (so we need to be there for 7pm).

Thanks a mill, Jem

Rehearsal Monday 20th Nov — Concert at Glen Maye, Dec 13th.

Hi all,

Thanks to the good folks at the Glen Maye Methodist Church, (and much aided by Jas who came out on a Sunday to negotiate and see the venue), we’ve now reset the date of the Glen Maye concert to Saturday 13th December, starting at 7:30pm.

This means we have a few extra weeks to rehearse, and we’ll avoid the triple problem of Ben, David and I all being off island on the original Concert date !

Also, we can use the concert in Peel (Sat 6th Dec – the previous week) as a trial run 🙂

The Glen Maye concert will be a well-attended do, and we’ll be asked to participate in some of the non-musical preparations.  More details later, but you can expect a nice set of break-time nibbles, some non-alchy mulled wine, and a raffle.

I’m looking forward to it, now that we have a bit of time to consolidate our music.

For this week’s session, we’ll carry on with our current repertoire, and I’ll certainly visit ‘Lazy Day’, ‘Shmooky and Mo’ and ‘Cool Saints’, as well as having a second run through the new Carol of the Drums.

See you tomorrow. Cheers Jem


Rehearsal Monday 13/10/2014 – Take #2

Wot – a post on a Sunday !

Two reasons for this – the first is I had a nasty bout of something mid-week … and the promised Seasonal tune (Carol of the Drum) turned out to be a bigger work than expected.

That said, I’m really pleased with it, and it’s ready for a run through tomorrow.

Given the late hour, I’ll print out parts for the session tomorrow, but I would appreciate it if you could listen through the MP3 or MIDI just to get an idea how the tune changes style as it progresses.

… and of course, you’ll have run through those difficult sections in Hornipe Fun, Shmooky and Mo and Lazy Day 🙂

Cheers Jem

MSE – Admin / Busking etc.

Hi – Just some catch up stuff I thought I’d post while I have some time …

Firstly, re Busking, we’ve agreed to look at 4 slots and all of them in Douglas.   Three will be to raise general campaign funds, and a final one for a charity … ‘Bridge the Gap’, that Ben is involved in.

We have the dates for IOMWO’s sessions, so I’ve suggested slots that work around these.  Please let me know if you forsee any difficulties with these.  If I don’t hear back by Friday., I’ll send these dates off to the Douglas town centre lady to book our slots.  I’ll also ask Tracey, Jackie and Andrea if they want to join us in Douglas.

Busking Slots  N.B.  These are two hour slots as defined by the Douglas town centre licences, but generally we’ll only do an hour / 90 mins.

Likely Slots are …

Sat 29 Nov, 2pm-4pm

Sat 6 Dec, 2pm – 4pm

Sun 14th Dec, 2pm – 4pm

Sat 20th Dec, 2pm – 4pm

Subs : I believe we’re now all paid up, in that Susie paid on-line, as have Ben and I.  Jas and Michael paid me last night, and I’ve sent in an online payment to match.   I believe David and Matt have also paid in (let me know if not), so we can square up and move on from finances.  I’ve got the task to finalise our bank arrangements, and I’ll also get a current balance so we can do some planning for next year – as I’d like to see if we can afford to get Alistair to come over again.

Concerts :  Jas will contact the venue holders for Glen Maye and Peel this week to set up detailed planning sessions which he and I will attend.  These are essential in that they are our point to check that the organisers are serious about supporting the concert dates.  We have 2 further concert opportunities in Ramsey and Port Erin, but I’m not pushing these too hard at the moment as I want to get a chance to talk to all the team first about our plans for next year.

Christmas Night Out : As with last year, we’ll plan our annual social do fashionably late for Christmas, to be held in January.  Ben is at the helm, so expect the unexpected !

Kind regards to all, Jem