I had a fantastic time reading the Shostakovich on Friday! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did and maybe learned something new about the work as well.
This week we will be hitting Mozart a bit harder and work on continuity with the Bruckner. Many things are already in place for the Bruckner, but please keep hitting your personal “brackets” before rehearsal. It is always a bit disappointing when we work on something, get it just right, and the next time we read it, it takes us by surprise. The good news is – this problem is very easy to fix. Please keep very good track over where you not only technically struggle, but also where pitch is consistently and issue. Then be diligent and efficient with your practice. Some of our sheet music is over twenty pages long. It can be easy to forget where all the difficult passages are. Put stars in the margin along with brackets so that you can easily find them. Practice tricky licks often. For pitch issues, try to schedule a time to practice with your stand partner. If put into practice, these habits can be extremely valuable for your growth and professionalism – which will eventually lead to getting and keeping a job.
This Wednesday, a representative from the New World Symphony in Miami Beach will be with us to tell us about their program and answer any questions you have. They are only traveling to a select few Schools of Music on the entire West Coast, and I was so proud that they want to talk to you. That says a lot about our reputation as a school and a lot about all of you:) When I was 21, I was runner-up for a fellowship and have since played in the NWS several times. It is a great opportunity! If you don’t know much about it, research a little bit and come prepared with questions.
Next week, I plan to have a recording session of the Bruckner. We won’t have time to do the entire work and we will focus on the first movement. The intent here is to simulate a real recording session, where we play several passages a couple of times and do post-production editing. My hope is that we end up with a product that we can use on the website to show our very best performance. It is a great chance for you to see and understand how these sessions work.
I think it is essential that all musicians be able to articulate the power of music. This inspiring message helped me to better do that today. I hope you enjoy. Please comment.
P.S. – Let’s strive for “one buttock” playing at every rehearsal:) You must watch the video to get the reference.
I must begin by telling you all how pleased I was with our focus and progress last week. You displayed a level of maturity enjoyed by only the finest of collegiate orchestras. I was most impressed with how you were able to get to “the music” even during our first reading of each movement of the Bruckner, and how quickly you were able to make noticeable and nuanced changes to you performance.
I hope that you feel that your sectional rehearsals were productive. For the ones that I led personally, I can say that much was accomplished. We will continue using sectionals to work out technical and ensemble challenges this week and hopefully begin the Mozart with UOCO on Wednesday. Although the parts are scheduled to arrive by then, they will NOT be marked at the first rehearsal.
Please continue to be well-prepared for each rehearsal. Look carefully at the schedule and give particular attention to the movements being rehearsed each day. I try to be as specific as possible so that you may focus your practice.
Finally, a word to our string players. As you have already figured out, Bruckner loves the tremolo. Please take care of yourself. Do not play with tension, and feel free to modify your bow arm in rehearsal so that you stay healthy. Some tips – rest your right arm on your leg, slow sown the tremolo at times, take a bar or two off every now and again, move your bow as you tremolo so that different muscles are being used. Play smart, not hard in rehearsal so that you can give your all on Nov. 5.
Thanks for a great week, let’s continue to step it up for week #2.
Thank you all for yesterday’s rehearsal. If you couldn’t tell, I was pretty excited. I really appreciated your focus in our the read of Bruckner #4. It seems that many of us are taking the words of Profs. Pologe, Van Dreel, and Vacchi to heart already. While much practice must still take place, your enthusiasm, musicality, and most important, your ability to make noticeable changes when requested show a maturity I have not yet seen during a reading session. Bravo! I look forward to tomorrow.