Thursday, January 22


The next pep band is Tuesday, January 23, at 6:45. Students in 6th through 12th grade are welcome to sign up and play.

Symphonic Band

Students received the permission slip for the MMEA trip today.

Tomorrow, I'll be gone for the afternoon with students at the MN High School Music Listening Contest. The band will be running through the full MMEA set in my absence with Mrs. Gust.

Today's rehearsal was several steps forward in playing expressively in Devil Dance and Reflexão e Dança. Students should continue working on playing regular and marcato accents in both pieces.

Concert Band

I think the concert band is getting more of the heart of the Andrew Boysen Symphony no. 4. We worked on the 4th movement today, particularly the middle section in which most of the band sings. It's an eerie effect. Another area we worked on was playing expressively in Prospect. I compared expressive playing of music to the expressive reading of poetry. Too often, we play lines in band in a way that we would never speak a comparable text.

6th Grade

We moved on to page 21 and 6/8 time today. The students did a good job following directions on the counting, and we moved through the new material faster than I anticipated. This left extra time to play two potential concert works (the Allegretto from Beethoven's seventh symphony and Ironclad) as well as a rhythm game. For the record, the woodwinds won.

Tuesday, January 20

Symphonic Band

Great rehearsal! We made progress in structuring the improv section of Reflexão and tightened up some style and rhythms in Basin Street. Look forward to Friday this week: a run-through of the whole set for MMEA.

Concert Band

The group did some very nice expressive playing today in Prospect and started to put together the fourth movement of the Andrew Boysen Symphony no. 4. The next pep band is Tuesday, January 27, and students who did not attend the first one should plan to attend this one.

6th-Grade Band

After a strong start and some great reading in the EE book, the group struggled to maintain momentum at the end of class. We're getting to some more challenging music, and students will need to make sure they are working hard on their individual parts for the concert pieces so that class time can be used effectively.

Wednesday, January 14

Symphonic Band

Today we finished up regularly scheduled class performances. We worked on the last two sections of Rhythm Machine, adjusting balance and phrasing. Many students still have to work out some technical challenges in this piece. We finished with Devil Dance and a short quiz.

Concert Band

Students completed a reflection on their solo and ensemble performance and the first semester in band.

6th-Grade Band

Page 19 in the EE book is a challenging one. Students need to make sure they work on every exercise on the page even though they are not all assigned for the next lesson. We started page 20, which offers some enjoyable review exercises as a respite to the challenges of 19. Brass players in particular need to be playing consistently to build their range. We finished class by turning in old practice sheets in exchange for the new one and sight reading two pieces. The group's reading level has come a long way since the start of the year.

Tuesday, January 6

Concert Band

The group showed some great musicianship in rehearsing Prospect today. The group's playing represented what we need to be able to do on more complex pieces of music.

Symphonic Band

A second great rehearsal in a row. We covered the second half of Rhythm Machine, and the group is showing a solid grasp of the heart of the piece. We also started to structure the open section of the Reflexão e Dança.

6th-Grade Band

We moved into some more challenging territory in EE book 2. Ranges (especially brass) are being pushed and the level and variety of rhythm reading required is pretty high on pages 18 and 19. Students should make sure to keep a consistent pulse (many would benefit from a metronome) and using the playalongs that accompany the book would be helpful.

Wednesday, December 17

Concert Band

Students worked on their chamber music for Solo and Ensemble on January 8.

Symphonic Band

We made some progress on playing staccato style in Rhythm Machine as well as addressing balance and timing in Basin Street Barbeque.

6th Grade Band

Students received two new pieces--an arrangement of the Allegretto movement from Beethoven's 7th Symphony and a piece called Ancient Moon. Students also reviewed a new rhythm pattern this week. The dotted eighth note-sixteenth note combination is very much like the dotted quarter-eighth note pattern, but students are not accustomed to needing to subdivide and feel every sixteenth note as they play. We covered several practice strategies, including speeding up the dotted quarter-eighth rhythm, playing four sixteenth notes and tying the first three together, and tapping or speaking the sixteenths while playing or producing the rhythm.

Monday, December 15

Symphonic Band did a Monk Rehearsal, which means no talking from students as well as no talking from Mr. DeCaro! The group worked on expressive phrasing in Country Wildflowers and nailing down some rhythms in Basin Street Barbeque

Concert Band. Solo and Ensemble forms were due today! Students should have their finished SMART goal for class on Tuesday the 16th and record their initial assessment by the end of the week. Rehearsal today focused on some style considerations in the Bach Prelude and Fugue in B-flat Major. We also sight read David Holsinger's Cluster, Fluster, Bluster March and played a section of The Gathering of the Ranks at Hebron.

6th Grade Band showed today why they have been having a great year. When it came time to play O Tannenbaum from the EE book, many minds went to the Christmas melody in their heads instead of reading the music in the book. After a refresher on the dotted-eighth, sixteenth note rhythm, the group did a great job adjusting to different tempos. Back row students will perform for class on Tuesday, January 6, and front row students will perform on Thursday, January 8. Students should select an exercise from page 14 through 17.


New Assignments – page 18, #91, and p. 42 measures 21-28