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