Friday, 14 February 2014

Have a Good Break!

Things to Remember:
- Jazz Students - remember - February Blues Thurs. Feb. 27! You will need to meet at Campbell at 6:30p.m.
-Grey Cup Marchers please get your scholarship applications in.    They need to be received by
March 4.
-Grade 8's - permission forms have been handed out for the Grade 8 trip.  Please get those turned in by March 4.
-Those Grade 8 students participating in the South Sask. Jr. Band, please make sure permission forms have been handed in for that.

Have a good Break Everyone!
Students have been working very hard and we have heard some excellent progress over the last 6 weeks.   Students are reminded to take their instruments home and to get some practice in on their instrument.   Festival is coming up very quickly.   The first day back after the break will be Day 5.   This is Perry sectional day and RCS grade 6 sectional day.

In Grade 6 Band
Grade 6's have been working quite hard, and the results of their hard work are starting to show.    We have been watching for some habits forming that might make playing instruments difficult.   Some of these habits include fingers flying extremely high from the keys, stand height and posture.   Many of the students have grown over the last few months and so we have been reminding them that they will need to adjust their music stands to their new heights.   Trombone players have been reminded that it might not seem like they need to stretch as far to reach some of their positions.   Percussionists have been reminded to adjust the drum height to their height.    Saxophone players have been reminded to adjust their next strap to a length that works.

Gentle Winds has few notes, but is quite difficult because it is written in 3/4.   This week we worked quite hard at getting a 3/4 feel, by not accidentally adding an extra beat.   We also worked extremely hard at moving together and figuring out what to listen for.   Students are now asked to look at measures 25 -the end.    Courtly Dance is coming along.    We have some discrepancies in how fast we want to go.    We begin at one tempo and end quite a bit slower.   This is mainly because our ending is not as polished as the opening.   Students are asked to to take a look at 43-end.  

In Grade 7 Band 
There were some very nice sounds coming from the Grade 7's this week.    Prelude and Celebration is coming along extremely well.    This week we worked extremely hard on our note endings and phrasing.    Students identified spots where the phrase was moving and acted accordingly.   Generally we have been saying as your notes move higher, get louder, as your notes move lower get softer.  We are looking forward to playing it for the composer in March.   Students are asked to take a look at 85 to the end.   We still have a few wrong notes in there that need to be fixed.  (This pieces does have a tricky key signature change.   We almost have it, but need it to be completely fixed!)

Our second festival piece is Cathedral.    We are working away at this.   We have the notes mostly down, but are working hard at addressing the style.    Most of the students are trying to play this slower than it is actually intended.  Students are asked to make sure notes stay smooth, but at the same time that we do not slow down.  This is hard.     Students are asked to specifically look at measures 1-20.   This is the part that tends to slow down the most.   Part of the reason for this is that there are some funny accidentals in here.  

In Grade 8 Band

We had a very successful band class this week.  We have finally finished Amen in it's entirety.  Individual practice still needs to happen, especially on the middle section but it is now in our grasp.  We really worked on the ending since we hadn't spent much time on it before.  Once we get it straightened out we were able to put it all together.  I've been very pleased with the amount of practicing that has happened on this piece.

We also played through African Marching Song and continued with the suggestions that Dr. Lonis gave us during our clinic.  Keeping the dynamics soft and light help it to stay in it's groove.  Have a great week off.

Don't forget to get those trip permission forms in ASAP.  We would love to have any parents who are able to volunteer to chaperone come with us.

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