The Long, Long, Long and really Winding Road

Hi all,

Thanks for all pitching in to today’s session.  I learned a lot about how we learn music individually and as a group, and I think that knowledge will pay dividends over time.

For the Long and Winding, I have as promised updated the MIDI and MP3 files (these are now labelled version 4a) and have re-published them on the website.  If you don’t see them at first try, refresh your browser cache then give it another go – they are there !

Can I please ask that if anyone is at all uncertain about the timings of this piece, that they put in some concentrated effort to learn it thoroughly, as we need to run it next week then move swiftly on to other stuff.

I’ll review our playlist in light of the fact that we may have some patchy attendance in the next few weeks, and will post the rehearsal set for Monday, before the weekend.  In the meanwhile, please keep all the tunes in the current repertoire refreshed in your practice schedule.

Thanks, Jem


MSE Rehearsals and getting going …

Hi All,

I normally try to give my blog mails an upbeat slant, but having thought about the events of Monday evening I think it’s best to set the die for the rest of term and get any “directness” out of the way up front.

Our ‘start of term’ was indeed a bit of a damp squib.  Our numbers were depleted to the point where if we’d had one less, we wouldn’t have been able to run any tunes.  As it was, we could only play selected pieces, and even then with some parts having sections that were obviously missing.  Those who turned up got a bit of a warm up, but we’re now already a week behind in our plans for March 23rd (Peel Pensioners).

The mess was avoidable as I’d made sure to send out a blog email in plenty of time so that everyone had the start date and time to hand.

The fact that some folks missed the slot means that either they didn’t read my email carefully, or simply made an assumption about the start of term and didn’t check.  I can make my comms a bit more frequent, but I can’t make you read what I send out.

The point to all of this, is that playing in a band (and particularly a small one) is a team sport.  If you don’t do your bit, then you let everyone else down.

OK – Rant over, and hopefully we won’t have to revisit this as the term progresses.  I’ll just set out some common sense expectations and leave the rest to you ….

  1. – I’ve put the music we need for the term on the website.  Your task is to print it out (with spare parts for your instrument) in alphabetical order, and put it in a folder prior to this coming Monday evening.  This will save us from having to wait for others to find their copies.  Please leave a 2-page space for “Simon Smith” as this will arrive soon.
  2. We’ve set a new an slightly later start time for Monday evenings – arrive no later than 7pm, start playing 7:15pm.  This is to allow everyone to get to Whitestrand in good time.  Given that we’ve set things back a bit, I’ll expect all to be ready to go on time **.  If on the odd occasion you can’t make it (and there are always a very limited number of genuine unforeseen emergencies), then you should give me advanced notice so that I have some time to make amendments to our rehearsal stack accordingly.
  3. We now have max. 11 Monday evening slots prior to March 23rd.  Given Pauline’s dad’s state of health, I may find myself having to be absent for 1 or 2 slots.  This makes the concert deadline eminently do-able provided we all individually actually do what we need to, to learn our parts offline, then bring what we’ve learned to rehearsal.  This term I will be very specific about what we need to do week by week, to prepare for each rehearsal.  I hope that you’ll rise to meet the challenge and we can then up our game a bit.

I’ll pop a note out tomorrow covering the music we’ll play this coming Monday – but expect it to include Cool Saints, Home on the Range and Ja-Da.  These all contain a few passages that are challenging, and it would be good to see each of us tackle them positively before the rehearsal then put the results together on Monday.

See you at the rehearsal – Cheers, Jem


** – Ray, if on looking at your commitments you feel that you can only reliably make say 7:30pm as a start time, then please say so now as I want to make any adjustment once only and then we can all stick to it.

Rehearsal Tonight – Mon 4th Jan, 7:15 start

Hi all,

A quick reminder that tonight’s rehearsal kicks off at the new time of 7:15pm – that is when we start, so please allow 15 minutes to unpack, set up etc.

Music as advertised is a continuation of last term’s stack, with the tunes being available on the MSE web-site.

See you later !

Cheers Jem