Our community band concert was earlier this evening, and to my ear we've never played better. The intonation seemed good, the balance was great, and there was very good rhythmic cohesion. As mentioned in a previous post, our director has had us work on bits and sections in the lead up, and we didn't play through whole pieces much until the final rehearsal and tonight. And tonight to warm up we went through the transitions that were still troublesome. That approach paid off wonderfully. There were no spell breaking misplayings.
The other thing that made the concert such a success was having the C'ville horn section, four wonderful players, sitting in for the concert. For me it was amazingly easier and way more fun having all that horn sound around me rather than being on my lonesome. Rather than trying to establish my pitch in the band sound as a whole, I felt as though I were merely filling obvious tonal slots. And being able to rest my lips for a beat or two whenever I wanted seemed positively decadent.
But beyond making my life much easier, having that horn section gave real solidity to our sound as a band as a whole. It gave the trumpets something to blend into and took a little of the edge off of their sound and did that amazing thing the horn sound can do of filling out the woodwind sound. And detached notes in rhythmic patterns with five of us playing really complemented the percussion section.
This was Mr. Torian's last concert with us. He, very understandably, got tired of driving all the way down here for rehearsals and finding so many empty chairs. That probably means the horns won't be coming again either, as it was as a favor to him that they came. Which is a real drag because I'm now officially spoiled.
One other thing that he did which was tremendously helpful to me was having prepared a script for brief comments on the pieces as we played them. The info relayed was top notch and very interesting, but the nice break between the pieces gave me a chance to get the last one out of my mind and start mentally preparing for the next. I don't remember having that much time before in previous concerts, but I do remember sometimes still having the previous piece whirling in my head when starting the next.