Friday, 7 February 2014

In the Band Room This Week!

Things To Remember:
-Those Junior Winds Members who are playing on Saturday at All Saints Anglican Church - please meet at 6:30p.m..   We will perform at 7:00p.m. and be done at about 7:15p.m.   Please wear your band t-shirt, black pants, black shoes and black socks.
-Jazz Students  - Reminder February Blues is quickly approaching!   Please make sure Feb. 27 is marked on your calendars!  

In Grade 6 Band
This week in Grade 6 band we began a new piece.   It is entitle Belah Sun Woman and based on an ancient Australian Aboriginal story.   As we learn this piece, we will also learn the story.    This piece is called a project piece as it is written in five movements.   Each movement focuses on a  concept or skill that it is important for ensemble playing.  Some of these concepts we start without instruments and then add instruments later.   This week we began the first movement.   We began by learning the chant and then creating movements to the chant in groups.   Soon we will be adding drumsticks to this.   We will be supplying drumsticks for everyone for this.   This is a piece we will pick away at, and is a good opportunity for students to try something a little different!

As well this week we have continued working on our two Optimist pieces.   Students were asked to make our pieces a practice priority.  Specifically measures 43-the end of Courtly Dance and Procession and measures 11-27 of Gentle Winds.    This week we also talked about habits.   We have been doing some posture checks and taking a few quick pictures and video to demonstrate to students habits (such as crossed legs, or keeping fingers close to their instrument keys) that we need to watch out for.    Some students did not realize some of these habits were starting to emerge.   We had a few giggles over some, and will continued to work on these.   (All pictures and video will be erased.)

Students this week also listened to examples of the two pieces they are playing.   Examples of these can be found on   Once on this sight students need to do a search for their pieces and then can play it.    Many thought it was quite helpful to hear a recording.

In Grade 7 Band
We were treated to a clinic with Dr. Dale Lonis this week.   Dr. Lonis is an internationally renowned educator, conductor, and performer.   He is from Chicago and has worked with groups from all over the world.  We were quite lucky to have him working with our students this week.

During our clinics he worked with our students on identifying three important musical elements.   He worked on rhythm.   Students tried fast and slow rhythms, and he had some interesting sayings to help them with them.  He worked on pitch by having students learn a song (Soft Kitty) by scale degrees.  And finally he worked on style.   To do this he demonstrated how a piece can mean many different things by the way in which it is played.  

Students are asked to practice measures 1-27 of Prelude et Celebration and m.1-20 of Cathedral.  A recording of Cathedral may be found on   Since Prelude et Celebration has not been published yet, a recording of this piece can only be found on the composer's website.   The url is

In Grade 8 Band

We were fortunate enough to have another clinc with Dr. Lonis.  This was an excellent experience because we got to follow up on what we worked on with Dr. Lonis in the fall.  We spent some time on African Marching Song which we hadn't really dived into yet.

Playing tests continue in Amen.  The good news is we're almost half done!  We still have lots to go but there's lots of repetition in the rest of the piece so it should all be coming together very soon

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