I have always been proud of my band. And proud of the work the students do to be in the band. I try not to brag about it much because thats just not cool. However, I am going to allow myself to not be cool for a second (cuz the kids aren’t) and brag a little bit on these little monsters. There are times near the end of the season where its pulling teeth to get the parts learned in May to finish out the season. Its a rough month for people with so many demands on their time, so piling on the brass band music is a challenge. That being said, its not like that this year, and it hasn’t been like that all season. We have been plenty prepared for every concert all season, and I have not relaxed the level of difficulty in the repertoire one bit. It may be harder.
Some of the music we are currently working on is way over these kids heads. Night on Bald Mountain has a lot of notes and is an endurance killer, and it is the next to last tune on the program. Procession of the Nobles is nasty, and we have not played it in several weeks, much less rehearses it much since the tour. Cossack Patrol started out rough, but is now very easy. We are playing Be Thou My Vision again and that is easy. We added the Newton Capriccio with a student tuba soloist and the band put that together in three rehearsals and is playing it better than when we did it three or four years ago. Maybe only two kids i the band played it with Marty Erickson then. We read Circus Bee tonight for an encore and played it blazing fast…it it sounded tighter and more crisp than we played it at the Ohio Brass Arts Festival.. Don’t ask me how…we haven’t looked at it in 6 weeks or more. We were done playing it.
The big feature work for this concert is the Kenneth Downie Purcell Variations. This is a huge test for the band and has technical and musical challenges that are pushing every member of the band. This is one of the premiere original works for brass band in the literature and is played by every brass band around the world and a lot struggle with it. We will mange it well, and will make the musical nuances in that piece come to life. I am just really amazed at how the band has put this one together. I did not expect this at the beginning of the year.
SO… you have to come to our concert Sunday May 22, 2012 at 7:00 PM at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh. You will hear what the premiere youth musical ensemble of the region does best. You will be astonished and amazed at this group of young musicians. There are killin it, and everyone should hear it. I twill wrap up a truly amazing season withe the Youth Band.
If this is how the band is going to be for the rest of the time I lead the youth bands, we will be in great shape!!!