Students who registered for an additional credit have been asked to meet once weekly, discuss our rehearsal progress, and offer comments and suggestions.
This is one of the most difficult concert cycles we have played. Each part is demanding and there is a lot of stylistic variation.
Challenges arise from individuals’ lack of confidence and comfort with unfamiliar styles.
Individual parts may not be difficult at times, but it is challenging to fit them together in rehearsal.
Listen to recordings – why and how
– This is essential for success, giving you a feel for the style and showing you how your part fits into the ensemble.
– Initially listen to get familiar with the overall sound. Next, follow along with your part in hand. Subsequent listening can help you figure out how to execute specific passages and directions.
– It helps to actively listen to a piece right before rehearsals, directing your ear to listen to your colleagues instead of getting too focused on your individual part.
Practicing and sectionals
– Much like private lessons, sectionals are only productive if you prepare your part beforehand. Use sectionals to fit your parts together, which will then help you work as a unit or as small groups in ensemble rehearsal.
This music can be difficult, but each member playing with confidence will help us enormously.
Suggestions for director/TA
Could James offer ensemble members advice and resources for practicing?
– Whether members are taking lessons or not, folks don’t often know the best strategies for practicing (e.g. what to do beyond simply running through a piece).
– The Panopto videos James posted last semester were helpful, but were specific to pieces. Could he offer videos or materials that are more general to getting the most out of a practice session?
– Not all sections and section leaders know how to run a sectional efficiently. It might help if James occasionally gives specific assignments for sectionals (e.g. horns, practice entrances in x piece, mm. xx-xx), or if he gave sections general guidelines/tips for an efficient sectional.