Tuesday, January 15, 2019

01/14/19 Mustang Band Rehearsal Notes

Mustang Band Notes for 01/14/19

We started our pre-rehearsal time with silent entry tonight. From now on, we'll be entering the room without talking or playing until rehearsal starts. For some, that's easier than for others! Music will be playing over the sound system and our list of songs (in order) will be on the screen so everyone can prepare what they need for the rehearsal. This week's pre-rehearsal music was a playlist of music by Brian Balmages.
Rehearsal started with some of our usual stretching and breathing exercises from The Breathing Gym. We did the trunk twist and the elbow grab, followed by Inhale Therapy. We finished our warmup time with a review of the first five notes of the Concert B flat, E flat, and F Scales using numbers and solfege. We'll be spending more time on solfege in the coming weeks!

The first piece we worked on was Caissons Go Rolling Along. I printed out some exercises to help us transition from 4/4 to Cut Time. We clapped our way through the first two of those exercises before working on the piece itself. We tried it slowly, then worked on it at a faster tempo. Next week we'll work on the other two exercises and keep working on cleaning up the piece.

Rising Star was up second. We listened to a professional recording, then read through the piece together for the first time.

After that we talked through a unique piece called Distant Thunder of the Sacred Forest. This will be a really neat piece to work on and perform. We talked about the "setup" of the piece then listened to a professional recording of it.

The last thing we did was listen to a professional recording of Selections from The Music Man. This piece will give us a chance to work on 6/8 time among other things.

Our video of the Week featured an arrangement of Amazing Grace played by Greg Howard on the Chapman Stick. The Stick is a unique, but beautiful sounding instrument that is somewhat like a guitar and a bass put together. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.



Notes and announcements for the evening included:

  • Online registration for our March 2nd Solo and Ensemble Festival is open. Click on this link to get registered by February 1st.
  • Our 7th and 8th grade students are invited to join the KML Pep Band for Grade School Night on Thursday, January 24th. We'll meet in the band room at 6:30 PM, play before the game starts at 7:15 PM, then everyone is free to stay as long as they'd like.
  • We have a little supply store open on Monday nights. If you need reeds, valve oil, etc. you can bring some money and pick up whatever you need. The list of items available can be found here.



Have a great week!

01/14/19 Colt Band Rehearsal Notes

Colt Band Notes for 01/14/19

We started our pre-rehearsal time with silent entry tonight. From now on, we'll be entering the room without talking or playing until rehearsal starts. For some, that's easier than for others! Music will be playing over the sound system and our list of songs (in order) will be on the screen so everyone can prepare what they need for the rehearsal. This week's pre-rehearsal music was a playlist of music by Brian Balmages. Rehearsal started with some of our usual stretching and breathing exercises from The Breathing Gym. We did the trunk twist and the elbow grab, followed by Inhale Therapy. We finished our warmup time with a review of the first five notes of the Concert B flat Scale using numbers, then with solfege. We finished up that portion of our rehearsal with some call and response rhythms in 4/4 time.

The first piece we worked on was Symphonic Variants. This piece was in our folders last week but this was the first time we tried playing it together. It's based on Ode to Joy, so parts of it were familiar to most of the group. We took it in chunks and it went really well for a first readthrough!

Prestige March was up second. We had read through this one last week, but this week we worked on several sections:
  • We took each note of the introduction one at a time and made sure everyone had the correct notes
  • Measure 5 - we split into the various layers then put them together
  • Measure 22 - we looked at how the flutes/clarinets/alto saxes pass the melody on to the trumpets/French horn and get it back again
  • Measure 40 - we split into the various layers then put them together
  • Measure 55 - we talked about how it was just like Measure 5
After our work on those two pieces, we listened to a professional recording of DO-RE-MI from The Sound of Music. We'll start working on this one next time.

Our video of the Week featured an arrangement of Amazing Grace played by Greg Howard on the Chapman Stick. The Stick is a unique, but beautiful sounding instrument that is somewhat like a guitar and a bass put together. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Notes and announcements for the evening included:
  • Online registration for our March 2nd Solo and Ensemble Festival is open. Click on this link to get registered by February 1st.
  • We have a little supply store open on Monday nights. If you need reeds, valve oil, etc. you can bring some money and pick up whatever you need. The list of items available can be found here.

Have a great week (and do a little work in advance on DO-RE-MI! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

01/07/19 Mustang Band Rehearsal Notes

Mustang Band Notes for 01/07/19

It's been about a month since the last time we got together, but we're finally back at it. There were quite a few announcements to start things off for the second semester. Those can be found below.

We started rehearsal this week with a quick debriefing on the Winter Concert since this was the first time we were all together since then. After that everyone did a little warmup on their own before we entered the main chunk of our rehearsal time for the week.

Our only plan for the week was to get a look at some of the pieces that the KML Pep Band uses so any Mustang Band students who want to join in on the upcoming Grade School Night have an easier time. We worked on Land of 1,000 Dances, Smoke on the Water, Gimme Some Lovin', The Hey Song, YMCA, the KML School Song, and The Star Spangled Banner. We had fun working on those pieces. Hopefully lots of people can make it on January 24th!

Our video of the Week featured something called Cymatics. In cymatics, the surface of a plate or some type of membrane is covered with a paste or liquid. When the surface is vibrated with sound waves, the paste or liquid forms into different patterns based on the frequency of the sound and the shape of the vibrating surface. Pretty cool stuff! You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Notes and announcements for the evening included:
  • Next week we'll be starting our rehearsals with silent entry. That means that once you enter the band room, there's no more talking or playing until we start playing as a group. There will be music playing on the sound system and we'll be working on getting a better focus and start to our rehearsal. Any talking you want to do with friends should be in the hallway before and/or after rehearsal.
  • We have a little supply store open on Monday nights. If you need reeds, valve oil, etc. you can bring some money and pick up whatever you need. The list of items available can be found here.
  • Our 7th and 8th grade students are invited to join the KML Pep Band for Grade School Night on Thursday, January 24th. We'll meet in the band room at 6:30 PM, play before the game starts at 7:15 PM, then everyone is free to stay as long as they'd like.
  • Make sure to bring your Chorale Book and a pencil next week!

That's it for this week - have a great week!

01/07/19 Colt Band Rehearsal Notes

Colt Band Notes for 01/07/19

It's been about a month since the last time we got together, but we're finally back at it. There were quite a few announcements to start things off for the second semester. Those can be found below.

We started rehearsal this week with a debriefing on the Winter Concert since this was the first time we were all together since then. We talked about the highs and lows, what we learned, and how those experiences will help us as musicians moving forward.

After that we did some of our usual stretching and breathing exercises from The Breathing Gym. We did the trunk twist and the wrist grab, followed by the 1st Flow Study (evenly in/out for 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 counts). We finished our warmup time with a review of the first five notes of the Concert B flat Scale using numbers, then with solfege for the first time. We'll spend more time on that in the coming weeks and months!

Since the music in our band folders was brand new to us, we talked a little bit about sight-reading and what that means before digging into our first piece. We started by listening to a professional recording of Prestige March before playing through it in chunks.

After that we listened to a professional recording of Symphonic Variants. We'll start working on that piece next time.

Our video of the Week featured something called Cymatics. In cymatics, the surface of a plate or some type of membrane is covered with a paste or liquid. When the surface is vibrated with sound waves, the paste or liquid forms into different patterns based on the frequency of the sound and the shape of the vibrating surface. Pretty cool stuff! You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Notes and announcements for the evening included:
  • Next week we'll be starting our rehearsals with silent entry. That means that once you enter the band room, there's no more talking or playing until we start playing as a group. There will be music playing on the sound system and we'll be working on getting a better focus and start to our rehearsal. Any talking you want to do with friends should be in the hallway before and/or after rehearsal.
  • Make sure to bring your First Performance books each week since there's a piece we'll start working on in there as well as the two pieces we looked at this week. There's one more piece on the way as well - Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music!
  • We have a little supply store open on Monday nights. If you need reeds, valve oil, etc. you can bring some money and pick up whatever you need. The list of items available can be found here.

That's it for this week - have a great week and start working on those two new pieces! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

11/26/18 Mustang Band Rehearsal Notes

Mustang Band Notes for 11/26/18 We started our warmup session this week with the trunk twist and the elbow grab stretching exercises from The Breathing Gym. After that we did some work on the Concert E flat and Concert F scales.

Our rehearsal plan for the week was to start near the end of each of our pieces and work our way closer to the beginning. For Pulsate, that meant we started four measures from the end, then started at measures 75, 63, 51, 35, 27, and the beginning. This piece has really come a long way!!

Gentle Winds was up second. We started at measures 35, 27, 19, 11, 3, and the beginning. We worked a little more with the sound effects at the beginning. This is turning into a beautiful piece of music!
We ended our rehearsal with We Wish You a Merry Christmas. We started four measures from the end, then at measures 45, 28, 19, 9, and the beginning. Our biggest issue with this one is not slowing down at the quiet parts. Other than that, this one's in pretty good shape!

Our Video of the Week featured an interesting version of Jingle Bells by Toms MucenieksYou can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Our dress rehearsal will be on stage next Monday but there's no need to actually dress up for the rehearsal!
  • Concert dress for the concert is a white top and black from the waist down (black pants, black socks, and black shoes). Ladies may wear an all black dress if they'd like. Guys are encouraged to wear a tie but it's not required.
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

See you next week!

11/26/18 Colt Band Rehearsal Notes

Colt Band Notes for 11/26/18 We started our warmup session this week with the trunk twist and the elbow grab stretching exercises from The Breathing Gym. After that we did a little work with the musical alphabet, cycling through A-B-C-D-E-F-G-F-E-D-C-B-A out loud when my palms were up and silently when my palms were down. 

Our rehearsal plan for the week was to start near the end of each of our longer pieces and work our way closer to the beginning. For Rio Bravo, that meant we started with just the last four measures, then started from measures 45, 37, 29, 21, 13, 9, and then a full run from the beginning. That took a big chunk of our rehearsal for the week with this piece, but it was worth it. It's in really good shape!

Musical Thunder was up next. On this one, we just ran through it a couple of times. This one is ready to go! :)

Merry Kissimusi was up last. We didn't have much time left by the time we got to this one, but we did what we could with it. We're missing the melody in a couple spots but we'll get some good work in on this one next time to get it caught up with our other two pieces.

Our Video of the Week featured an interesting version of Jingle Bells by Toms MucenieksYou can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Our dress rehearsal will be on stage next Monday but there's no need to actually dress up for the rehearsal!
  • Concert dress for the concert is a white top and black from the waist down (black pants, black socks, and black shoes). Ladies may wear an all black dress if they'd like. Guys are encouraged to wear a tie but it's not required.
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

See you next week!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

11/19/18 Mustang Band Rehearsal Notes

Mustang Band Notes for 11/19/18 We started our warmup session this week with the trunk twist and the wrist grab stretching exercises from The Breathing Gym, followed by the First Flow Study - inhaling and exhaling evenly over 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 counts. After that we did a little work with the Concert E flat Major Scale, which is sounding much better!!

Gentle Winds was up first. We did a run of the whole piece, then went back to work on some things:

  • Having enough air in the first two measures to crescendo, hold at the top volume, then decrescendo without running out of breath
  • Not peaking too soon, dynamically. The louder volumes lose their effectiveness if the quieter ones are too loud - measure 19 is the biggest spot to watch out for that
  • Flow is coming along VERY nicely!!
We Wish You a Merry Christmas (WWYaMC) was up second. We did a full run of this piece as well before digging in a little deeper. Our biggest struggles with this one are dynamics (again!) and rushing the speed at times. We talked about louder dynamics not necessarily meaning playing fast and being careful not to slow down when we play quietly. Other spots highlighted were:
  • The jazzy flute/oboe/violin/1st clarinet lick in measure 4
  • Measure 9 - some people only play the second time - we need that difference there
  • Measure 19 - we need more clarinet and alto sax there
  • Make sure the last note is nice and crisp - don't hang on to it
Pulsate was up last. We did a full run of this piece to start things off as well. Dynamics, tempo, and style (especially the accents) are probably our biggest things to work on with this one. Highlights included:
  • Measure 9 is only mezzo forte - we can't get too loud there
  • Measure 35 is only mezzo piano - the volume change to forte at measure 43 should be a HUGE surprise not a gradual change
  • Measure 51 - we need more up and down, dynamic-wise in these long held notes

Our Video of the Week featured a fun tribute to Thanksgiving using the music of The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Fundraiser pick up was tonight. Thanks for picking up all your stuff and for supporting our band program through this fundraiser!
  • We have only two rehearsals left before our first performance of the year!
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

11/19/18 Colt Band Rehearsal Notes

Colt Band Notes for 11/19/18 We started our warmup session this week with the trunk twist and the wrist grab stretching exercises from The Breathing Gym, followed by the First Flow Study - inhaling and exhaling evenly over 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 counts. After that we did a little work with the musical alphabet, cycling through A-B-C-D-E-F-G-F-E-D-C-B-A out loud when my palms were up and silently when my palms were down. 

Merry Kisimusi was our first piece of the evening. We broke down several sections of the piece, splitting up the various groups who play then putting the groups back together. We did some work at the beginning with the low brass and percussion vs. the clarinets and trumpets vs. the alto saxes and French horn. We split up the three groups at measure 14, we worked on the low brass melody at measure 24 and how they hand it off to other instrument groups at measure 27, then again at measure 44. The last section we split up to work on was measure 36.

Musical Thunder was up next - that's what the majority of the group voted for as the title of our own group composition. We did it all together, did it with just the percussion parts alone, then put it all back together again.

Rio Bravo was up last. We made sure we had a good split between the 1st parts and the 2nd parts for the instruments who split. We were only able to touch on a few spots on this one due to time, but things are in good shape. We covered the bass line at measure 9, we worked through the repeated section at measure 13, and we spent a little time on the section at measure 37 with the punctuated notes and the percussion solo section. We'll start with this one next week so we get some more time to get everyone comfortable!

Our Video of the Week featured a fun tribute to Thanksgiving using the music of The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Fundraiser pick up was tonight. Thanks for picking up all your stuff and for supporting our band program through this fundraiser!
  • We have only two rehearsals left before our first performance of the year!
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

11/12/18 Mustang Band Rehearsal Notes

Mustang Band Notes for 11/12/18
We started this week's rehearsal with the Trunk Twist and the Elbow Grab exercises from The Breathing Gym as well as another exercise titled Exhale Therapy. With this exercise we filled up with air evenly over four counts, suspended the air for four counts, emptied half way, then pushed the rest of the air out. It gave us a good chance to feel the abdominal muscles working. After that we did some work on Concert E flat scale, using quarter notes in 3/4 time to work on stretching the pulse and pushing it forward.

We started our work on Gentle Winds with the two Jump Start exercises at the bottom of the page to work on flow and keeping things smooth. We checked out the balance between the various things happening at measure 19 then put it all together. This piece is getting much less mechanical and much more musical. Keep up the good work!

Pulsate was up second. We worked on the various layers going on at measures 9-26, at measure 35, and at measure 67. We talked A LOT about dynamics on this one. There's way too much volume on the lower levels which makes the upper level stuff much less effective. The quieter we play our piano and mezzo piano sections, the more effect the louder sections have!


We Wish You a Merry Christmas was our last piece of the evening. We worked on the section at the end after the key change, measure 28, and measure 19. We split the various groups up, worked on them separately, then put them all together in each section.

Our Video of the Week featured a group called STOMP doing some cool percussive stuff with the Harlem Globetrotters. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Fundraiser pick up is next, on Monday, November 19th.
  • Turn in your rehearsal reflections on the way out.
  • We have three rehearsals left before our concert!
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

Have a great week!

11/12/18 Colt Band Rehearsal Notes

Colt Band Notes for 11/12/18
We started this week's rehearsal with some quick work on Concert B flat, C, D, E flat, F, and G (notes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). Before moving on to our concert pieces.

Rio Bravo was up first. We hit a few sections to break up into the different layers of things going on and then worked to put things back together. We did that at measure 21, 29, 37, and 13 before going to the beginning and working on putting it all together.

Our composition was up second. I had a ballot where everyone could vote on their two favorite titles and had everyone turn them in after rehearsal. The clear winner was Musical Thunder. We did what we could to get everything put together with the unison melody and all the cool new percussion parts.

Merry Kisimusi was up last. Until this week, we had only listened to a recording of it so it was good to get to work on it this week. We had the trumpets help the clarinets out at measure 3, then worked on the trumpet part at measure 16. We checked out the low brass melody at measure 24, then the clarinet/alto sax/horn melody at 36, which added the flutes at measure 40. Then we put it all together.

Our Video of the Week featured a group called STOMP doing some cool percussive stuff with the Harlem Globetrotters. You can watch the video below or click here to watch it on YouTube.


Announcements for the week included:
  • Fundraiser pick up is next, on Monday, November 19th.
  • Recordings of our concert music can be found at https://sites.google.com/kmlhs.org/kmlesbands/home/instruments-and-music

Have a great week!