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Glad I’d Heard That Before

Last night’s rehearsal with the Charnwood Symphonic Wind Orchestra was one of those that involved a lot of sight reading. We did a few of the pieces we’ve been rehearsing over the past term but also some that I’ve not looked at previously, from a stately piece like Nimrod by Elgar (one of his ‘Enigma Variations’) to show tunes, like a selection of themes from The Lion King. My sight reading still has some way to go but it was a good chance to take stock and see that I’m getting somewhere. Further improvement is still required but I remember my first rehearsal and I did a lot better than that.

Possibly the most difficult piece, from the bass point of view, was the Blues Brothers medley. A lot of the tunes involved had bass ostinatos (a repeat riff underpinning movement in the upper voices) but with nuances of timing and articulation. The many times I’ve spent rewatching the original movie paid off though. Although I would probably have been stumped with unfamiliar music, what I was meant to be playing came together in my head not just from the dots in front of me but also from memory. That made what could have been terrifying into what was probably the highlight of the evening for me.

No rehearsal next week but I’m looking forward to the week after. Meanwhile, I’ll have to revisit some of the new pieces that came up. Just because I generally got through them okay doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from taking a closer look and hopefully transferring a few more of them into the ‘familiar’ section of my memory banks.

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