Conductor’s Notes – 16th January

Goodness, it’s been so long since I’ve posted on here! As well as the updates, as normal, a few things to say alongside this, so thanks for reading.

It’s my aim, this New Year, to keep these notes up to date as much as possible. I’ll try to get them out immediately following the Monday rehearsal, but if not at least by the end of the working week, so you can all have a look at what we’ll be doing on Monday over the weekend. Please do keep an eye on this page each week.
(We’re also in the process of updating the whole website, so don’t worry if the dates are old/missing – we’re on it!)

What we did on Monday 16th January:

It’s been an excellent start to the term, and we’ve really broken the back of the Elgar and Sibelius. I feel like the movements we’ve covered are already in a really good place, and we can start cracking on with the Symphony now.

We began with I. Overture in Elgar Suite 1, and reminded ourselves of what we covered the previous week. Lots of good work here, particularly the detail in articulation and ‘musical flow’. Just remember to subdivide the melody like crazy, and keep it all bubbly and exciting. After this we worked on I. March from Suite 2. Some excellent things here, especially the continuation of musical phrases, and the contrast of different ideas. Don’t let the triplets rush, and in the ‘B’ theme (Figure 5), keep the semiquavers going through the rests so it doesn’t drag.

After the break we looked at VI. The Wild Bears from Suite 2, breaking down the accompaniment and melodies throughout, and keeping it steady – one to practice at home with a metronome. Good work on dynamics. Finally, we ended with Movement 3 of the Karelia Suite. Here, it’s all about keeping the rhythm tight, and finding the contrast in articulation, dynamics, and colour. Remind yourself as to whether you’re the foreground, middle-ground, or background, and be aware of those more important in that moment. Wind, remember not to rush at Letter C.

What we’ll do on Monday 23rd January:

We’ll be putting those movements of Elgar and Sibelius to bed for a few weeks, and begin our work on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. We’ll begin with a tutti rehearsal on the Fourth Movement before breaking off into sectionals on movements 1 & 3. After this, we’ll come back to put it altogether.

Extra Rehearsal

A reminder about our extra rehearsal on Saturday 11th February at Adrian’s. The rehearsal will run from 14:00-17:30 with plenty of breaks. Most people have confirmed their availability, but if you haven’t, could you please confirm your availability for this.

Spotify Playlist

The Spotify Playlist for the term is HERE. Do please give it a listen, or find the pieces on YouTube – listening to them regularly will help ingrain the tricky bits.

January Dinner

It was so lovely to see so many people at our New Year’s Meal on the 6th. Thank you to all who came and made it such an enjoyable evening, but more importantly, a massive “thank you” to Frances for organising it.
Phil did a little speech at the dinner, and I certainly couldn’t follow up such generous words then, but I wanted to say something now.

Telford Orchestra really is such a special group, and we feel so lucky to be a part of it; it’s such a privilege to conduct you all. I’m so grateful for the commitment and hard work that you all put in to making the music and the ensemble great each week, all the personal practice and learning you do, and to all your friends and family who support what we do so enthusiastically. Of course, my job is made significantly easier by the fantastic Committee we have – so much gets done behind the scenes, and it’s all worth it to see such happy people each week. We’ve done some stonking concerts in 2022, and I really look forward to continuing our brilliant music-making with you all this term, and into the rest of 2023.

See you all on Monday 23rd.