Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Concordia's Spring Season

Tonight marked the second concert of Concordia Pops spring season. The music is a nice mix, although I am partial to the lighter stuff of the second half which includes Highlights from The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, a nice Jerome Kern medley, and Belle of the Ball by Leroy Anderson (composer of Sleigh Ride). Belle of the Ball needs a bit more work, but it's being pulled out of the performance list, so reprieve!

The first half starts with John William's Olympic Fanfare written for the Los Angeles Games in 1984. The first clarinet part matches the trumpet fanfare line and is fun to play. Alas, it doesn't come close to the version played at the Vancouver closing ceremonies, we take it a bit slower. By the way, anyone know if that was the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra that played at the opening and closing ceremonies?

The pieces then move into a few dances, specifically Slavonic by Dvorak, and Norwegian by Grieg. These make me sweat as there's some exposed clarinet parts, but my confidence is growing with each performance. I've discovered swabbing at the midpoint of the concert though really helps get the gurgle out. Sleeper's Wake by Bach is one of those flowing really pretty songs that doesn't require staccato articulation. Since I'm still working on getting that aspect cleaner, this is a good thing. Other than some fingerings that need conversion to autopilot (great analogy put forth in a recent NACOcast "Practice Makes Perfect" between flight and practicing), it gets played fairly well. Except when I miss my cues (sorry Mr. Conductor!).

Week off next week since it's March Break, but must not lose motivation to practice or the autopilot will never be engaged!

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