Winter Gala Concert

On December 7th, we finally had our Winter Gala concert after several months of preparation. With over 180 individual performers and 22 performances, it was the culmination of a ton of effort on everyone who was involved part’s. For the Gala, I did both backstage crew and concert band. I had been doing concert band since it started in late August, while I chose to do backstage crew after being told that they desperately needed people.

While I was semi-confident for the concert band portion that I had been working on for several months, I was quite worried about the backstage crew. It would certainly be a challenge for me, as I had never done a backstage-crew like thing before.Since we had only 2 days of dress rehearsals to actually practice what we were going to do, everyone involved was quite nervous. Nobody in our team had done backstage crew before, but we all collaborated well to learn what was needed. 

Concert band was near the opposite, with me and the other members having adequate time to prepare only one item. Despite that, I was still moderately worried. While it wasn’t my first concert, it was some members’, and sometimes the excitement can impact playing, mainly the tempo. This would have been especially problematic due to the fact that we were playing alongside a video montage that was set to the music ahead of time, meaning we had to be very precise with our timings.

The night of the Gala arrived quickly, almost too quickly it felt. Everything had been done to get ready for it, the only thing between us and our time to shine was the warm up session, also flying by it felt. The Gala started, and the concert band walked on stage and kicked it off. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the music we played, we did a great job and were perfectly in sync with the video, even more so than in the dress rehearsals. After taking our bows and walking off of stage, I proceeded to take off at full sprint to the green room. Because of my position in backstage crew, I was one of the people assigned with moving the piano right after the concert band finished, meaning I didn’t have time to change out of my concert attire. After dropping off my instrument, I ran back on stage and helped to move the piano.

After the semi-chaotic first transition, it calmed down significantly. The acts came and went one by one, and it was quite fun to help them out back stage with setup and other random things. Soon enough the concert drew to a close without event, and we went home that evening on a job pretty well done.

While it certainly wasn’t perfect, it worked well. I feel we could have played more pieces for concert band and been a little faster during transitions for the backstage crew. I fully plan on doing backstage crew again and continuing for concert band though, and now with some experience, I’m really excited for the spring Gala.


(Top: Ending Group Photo, Right: Moving the piano, Left: Concert Band playing)

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Gecko Network – Gecko News Semester Recap

The Setup

This semester has been jam packed with all sorts of events, ranging through a variety of categories. All of the season one SAISAs, UN and Founder’s day, the welcome back picnic, and a bunch of others that I’m probably going to forget as I write this. The point is, I think that every single student at OSC has been a part of one or more of the aforementioned events, and their efforts should be recognized and celebrated. To help with this, we at Gecko Network decided that we wanted to put out a semester recap video, with the specific purpose of highlighting every single event of the first semester.

I was and am impressed, surprised, and honored that I was chosen to work on this project. I wasn’t alone though, which is a good thing because I’m still a rookie in the scheme of things. I was put on a team with Milo and Phillipe. Milo and I were assigned to the main duties, and Phillipe was tasked with taking care of things like correspondence for interviews and getting names and dates. Our go to agent, if you will. We started with the script, because scripts are the skeletons for videos, you can’t do without for something like this.

The Boring Part

When we began, Milo already had about half of a script in a rough draft. I decided that while Milo would finish up the rest of the script, I would comb through and make edits, changes, and corrections for what was done. We both agreed that this would be the best way to do things, as therefore the general style of the script would be similar.  Starting from the top, I began the long process of trying to condense/improve the script and making sure that they were things that we could say/pass off normally. We used the entirety of the service meeting on Thursday the the 15th to do this, and planned to record the following week. I also made lots of changes at home, after second thoughts about the edits I made.

If making the script was all it took to produce an end of semester recap video, then it wouldn’t be all that much work. If only that was the case, as the hardest part was yet to come by the time we had finished and recorded a few takes of the script. The next step was to compile preexisting footage of the events that we mention, and to get interviews from some of the people involved. Gathering the footage that we had was annoying enough already, with what equated to dozens of hours of video to sift through. In addition to that, the semester was still not over and there were things that we needed to also get video of, including the Senior Production and Winter Gala. There was also the interviews with the captains of the SAISA teams that were left.

After slogging through that process, we started to stitch together our creation, piece by piece. I’ll admit that I am quite rubbish at video editing, so do feel like I weighed down the team quite a bit during this process. The best I could do was help with creative decisions on what the flow of the video would be like. While I have improved leaps and bounds with my editing ability and my knowledge of the software, I still don’t think I’m ready to fully handle a project like this. I’ll wait till a smaller one comes up for me to test my skills. Maybe next semester. Once we finished with it, we ran it by Anuda and a few others for suggestions on improvements. Seeing how the entire school would be viewing it, this is not something to mess up.

To Be Continued?……..

And that’s where I leave it. There are two weeks left till we have to show it to everyone, and you can bet that we will be making improvements and changes to it the entire time. With any luck, people will at least accept it…. I think. This is certainly the most amount of time that I’ve put into any Gecko Network project, and I think that it will show, in a good way.  

Winter Gala Preperations – Concert Band

As we are now halfway through the month of November, the tensions regarding the upcoming Winter Gala Concert for have grown exponentially. There has been a frantic rush as everyone shifts their effort levels up several notches. According to Ms.Duncan, there are over 88 performers involved with it, so a sizable portion of secondary school is caught up in the excitement.

The concert band consists of 15 people, 12 of which are students. We’ve been meeting since late August, and are only preforming one piece. Since then, we’ve worked on our collaboration, general playing skills, and musicianship. Our collaboration comes in multiple different ways, from all the different connections between people in band. From collaborating with the rest of our sections, collaborating with other sections, and collaborating with the conductor/pianist Ms.Duncan. Improving on any one of these can be difficult, as variation between people on what they play can even happen in sections of the same instrument(eg. the trumpet section). Luckily for me, I am the only one in my section, so I only have to worry about incorporating properly with other people. I need to make sure that I play loud enough in some parts of the music, but then also need to make sure that I am quite and supportive to the other instruments in other parts. Making sure that I correctly transition between the two can be sometimes difficult, pending on how sudden it happens. It’s quite difficult to go from playing piano(quietly) whole notes to fortissimo(as loud as possible), something which I have to do when I briefly take over the melody at measure 108.

I’ve been practicing every day of the week, working on how loud I can play(my parents are not fans) for my especially important part at 108, where I have to do this huge, grandiose, powerful melody… ALL BY MYSELF! This is one of the job hazards that you don’t think about when choosing an instrument, but ever since the 5th grade where I chose this instrument, the maximum amount Euphoniums that I’ve seen in a band is 2. It’s fair to say that I’m used to it by now, but that doesn’t make it any easier to play that loudly. It’s not just like the rest of the band can quiet down all that much, seeing how it’s meant to just be generally loud, and if it were quit it’d be weak and pathetic. I have made progress though, and I’ve been getting louder and louder each time we play, pushing my limits of how much noise I can squeeze out of this brass chunk.

The hardest part now is just overcoming my nervousness, whenever we play in rehearsal I always get a nervous feeling in my gut and I can’t play out to the fullest. Maybe it’s just excitement? Who knows, but the rest of the song is going great. My only complaint for the coming Gala is that I feel the concert band could be playing a little more music. No matter how long one song is, it’s still just one song.

Anyways, here’s to looking forwards to what’s coming up, I’ll put up a post afterwards with how it went in detail.

Here’s the sheet music, it my part gives a brief idea of the tone shifts throughout