Address: 2020 Cornwall Avenue.
Please remember - this Saturday (April 21) we will be practicing at Bellingham High School instead of the American Legion. The plan is to enter through the right-hand doors - the band room entrance will be immediately to your right after you enter the building. As always, Jazz Ensemble at 9 am and Full Band from 10 until 12. See you there!
Address: 2020 Cornwall Avenue.
Mark your calendar:
A MESSAGE FROM BAND PRESIDENT, LARRY HOWLETT:
Rehearsal this Saturday, April 14th, will be at the American Legion as usual.
Next Saturday, April 21st, rehearsal will be in the band room of Bellingham High School. Chairs will be furnished. You will need to bring your own stands. Rehearsal will be from 10 to 12. The parking lot is on the south side of the school and is entered off Iowa St. Enter the building by the doors on the southeast of the building.
Just a reminder to everyone - Saturday's band practice will be at Explorations Academy 1701 Ellis Street, #215 (Jazz Ensemble at 9 am, Full Band at 10 am).
Please remember that there is limited parking at the bottom of the hill outside the door where we enter the basement performance space; we aren't allowed to park on or near the hill itself because this would impede emergency vehicle access.
For new members - the best strategy is to park on Ellis Street and then walk down the hill (on the right of the building) to the basement entrance. To get to Explorations, take Cornwall south to Bellingham HIgh School, turn left on Ohio Street. Pass the entrance of the high school on your left; just beyond this, turn right on Ellis Street (you'll then pass the Bellingham Food Bank on your left). Continue on to Explorations Academy, which will be on your right.
For anyone who missed last week's practice: please bring the Brubaker arrangement of "STRIKE UP THE BAND" to practice. Thanks!
The trumpet section rocked today during practice, as we started turning the corner on our preparations for our Spring fundraising concert in April. Thanks for the photo, Joel Hall!
Hurrah - Frank just announced what our "final" Spring concert programme will be, in order of performance:
STRIKE UP THE BAND - GERSHWIN(S) arr BRUBAKER
RHYTHM OF THE WINDS - ERICKSON
HYMN TO THE FALLEN - WILLIAMS arr LAVENDER
BE THOU MY VISION - CLARK
THE FIREBIRD (BERCEUSE and FINALE) - STRAVINSKY transcription McALISTER ed REED
STREET TANGO - PIAZZOLLA arr LONGFIELD
BELLE OF THE BALL - ANDERSON
MANCINI - MANCINI arr BULLA
SALUTE TO AMERICAN JAZZ - NESTICO
Are there sections of our current Winter / Spring playlist that you find challenging? Are you wondering if you're getting a rhythm correct or why you never know where to come in after a long passage or two of rests?
Or are you simply curious about how fast we'll ultimately be playing a piece we're practicing (say, Holsinger's "American Faces")?
Here's a YouTube collection [please click the link] of the various arrangements we are now working on, performed by other community, college, high school, and middle school bands across the country (there are also a few extra, like "Amazing Grace" and "Nimrod" thrown into the mix). It's a lot of fun to play along with these recordings at home, both providing insight into how other groups interpret these works as well as helping to sense how your own part should sound.
[WARNING: Don't be frightened by "American Faces" (the video shared below). We all know Frank wouldn't really do that to us. Right? Right?]
Sometimes, in the middle of band practice, one’s mind drifts. For me, this happens most often when we’re practicing Stravinsky’s “Berceuse and Finale.” The first few times we started sight-reading it, I couldn’t stop yawning throughout the first half, even though I had a solo (which one really shouldn’t sleep through).
Turns out, though, that yawning was exactly the response that movement was supposed to inspire – because a “berceuse” is a lullaby, or “cradlesong.”
I don’t know about you, but “Berceuse” isn’t the song I would’ve chosen to lull my babies to sleep. I think it sounds like the music that might be playing as a vampire creeps into a virgin’s bedchamber. To me, that painfully slow call-and-response between the low woodwinds and the oboes, underscored by the long low brass notes, is ominous and threatening. It’s the stuff of nightmares.
But reading the story behind "The Firebird” now makes me understand why Stravinsky wrote this the way he did. In the Firebird ballet, premiered by the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1910, Prince Ivan wanders into the forest domain of Koschei the Immortal, whose soul is protected in a magical egg hidden in a casket. While there, the prince captures the Firebird but then releases her; she rewards him with an enchanted feather he can use to call her should he need her.
Ivan then falls in love with one of the thirteen princesses Koschei has imprisoned. After Koschei sics his monsters on him, Ivan calls the Firebird – who proceeds, during the “Berceuse” section, to sing both them and Koschei to sleep. As the deadly lullaby continues, she directs Ivan to the tree stump where Koschei’s soul-egg is hidden. He smashes the egg, killing Koschei. The enchantment is lifted and all of the princesses and other magical creatures are awakened and freed during “Finale.”
So that’s why “Berceuse” is one creepy lullaby. I plan on staying well awake during band practice from now on.
(Blog contributed by Kari Diehl, oboist)
After a year's hiatus (because webmistress Kari Diehl had a bit too much on her plate), the Bellingham Community Band's website is back in operation! (we also have a very active Facebook page).
While I (Kari) am happy to continue building and maintaining our website, I'm also open to suggestions or - if any band members have better web development skills, to handing it over completely for someone else to improve. I'd particularly appreciate it if people could share more recent videos or photos of the band that we could incorporate into the site. If you'd like to try your hand at blogging (short pieces about the music we're playing, profiles of band members, or good band memories), that would be great, too!
So, please have a look at the website as it currently stands and let's talk about this at Saturday's practice. Thanks!
- Kari Diehl
P.S. It may take a few weeks before this website will appear on search engines like Google or Yahoo. That's because I'll need to blog steadily for a while and optimize the SEO so that the search engines will begin to recognize the page.
P.S. (again): You'll also note that I need to update the members' roster and our lists of sponsors. That should happen over the course of the next week.
P.S. (final): You'll now find a Paypal "donate" link on the "Band Aid" page which will allow you or others to contribute to the band or even to pay your dues on a monthly basis or annual basis.
Here are the pieces we'll be practicing each Saturday morning for the foreseeable future:
Warmups: Bach and Beyond & Symphonic Warmups
Berceuse and Finale
Salute to American Jazz
Hymn to the Fallen
Belle of the Ball
Be Thou My Vision
Rhythm of the Winds
What a great kick-off practice we had last Saturday! Frank Kuhl sends a special message to everyone:
My fellow musicians,
Words can't express my feelings of enthusiasm and respect for the dedication to music you so capably demonstrated last Saturday.
It's an honor and a privilege for me to contribute in some small way to the Bellingham Community Band, and you have my promise never to take that for granted.
Our new members are most welcome - we're delighted to add their experience and talent to the ranks.
With Veteran's Day in early November, let's start working on two appropriate numbers already in our book:
The Maple Leaf Forever
Fantasy on Yankee Doodle
Now these two are in addition to the four numbers we began rehearsing last Saturday:
Be Thou My Vision
Introduction and Scherzo
There will be two more numbers distributed this coming Saturday at rehearsal. Personally, I can't wait!
Thanks to everyone,
Don't forget that Saturday's practice is at Explorations Academy (1701 Ellis Street), beginning at 10:00. Everyone interested in participating with the Jazz Ensemble should show up an hour earlier, to begin practicing at 9:00 with Joel.
See you at practice!