Conductor’s Notes – 13th February

Hello everyone! A brilliant couple of rehearsals with so much good work done – I’ve had many comments from members of the orchestra saying just how good they thought we all sounded on Saturday, and how much progress we’ve made.

What we did on Saturday 11th February:

Firstly, a huge thank you to Adrian and Julie for welcoming us into their home for our rehearsal. We had a great session, covering a lot of music. We started with Elgar Suite 1, movement 1, doing some really detailed work on ensemble, the chromatic notes, and overall character. We then looked at Suite 2, Movement 1, and brought out the different moods of the piece, easily transitioning between the two. Just be careful with the dotted rhythms verses the triplet rhythms, which need to be distinct. We did some excellent rehearsing of Movement 6, keeping the accompaniment really accurate, finding the flow and excitement of the melody, and the ‘hammered’ section at the end.

We then spent a good amount of time on the 3rd Movement of the Beethoven, getting the rhythms and timings together, and ensuring the colours are bright and engaged. We practiced the timings at bar 24, working through until Letter A. The ‘Trio’ was lovely, just watch for the tempo change, and make sure it’s a true quaver, not crotchet. Woodwind, careful at bar 181. We finished by refreshing ourselves on Movement 4 of the Symphony, maintaining the energy, even after a 3-hour rehearsal.

What we did on Monday 13th February:

Really detailed work on the 1st Movement, especially on the opening, keeping the rhythm but also giving it all direction. We then worked on the rest of the exposition, up to bar 176. We then did a little consolidatory work on Movement 3, reminding ourselves of the great work on Saturday.

After the break we worked on the ‘chamber’ movements of the Elgar suites, really nailing down the interpretation and characters of each piece. We spent a lot of this time practicing the hand-over of the musical lines between instruments, creating different colours and ideas.

Keep on practicing!

What we’ll do on Monday 20th February:

We’ll begin with Movement 1 of the Beethoven, from bar 177 (development and recapitulation), then do Movement 1 of the Karelia Suite. After this we’ll split off into sectionals, with Wind and Brass working on Beethoven Movement 3 and Elgar Suite 2, Movement 1, and Strings working on Beethoven Movement 1 and 2.


You can see the wonderful poster for the concert, created by our very own Bec, below. Share it far and wide – we deserve a great audience for this one!

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.

See you all on Monday 20th.