Monday, September 28, 2009

New Maestro

After two years as band director, Bob Hamrick has moved on and our new director is Charles Torian. He's an oboe player from the Tidewater area of Virginia (with the musical drawl to prove it) now living in the Charlottesville area and has lots of experience directing and arranging music for bands. I'm going to continue to use the "maestro" tag for playing tips from the podium. Those preceding this post are from Bob Hamrick and this one and the ones that follow are from Charles Torian. These are not direct quotes, but my memory of what was said.

One thing he said yesterday was that on the final note of a piece, imagine projecting it to the back of the hall. When he had us do that there was a much better feel of finality to the final chord. He also said that mind games like this can be helpful, but that you can get too deep into them as well.

Something else he said was that if your triplets aren't even, try slightly emphasizing the second note, that paying it that attention will tend to slow it and even it out.

At a rehearsal a week or so ago we came to a passage where a lot of people stopped on the third beat and others had a pick-up on the fourth. He asked those stopping on the third beat to not tongue the note we stopped on to make for a more gentle release. That made a remarkable difference. Before, the music seemed to stop then start again, but when we did that it flowed right on through that measure.

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