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Phoenix Concert Band

Autumn Concert

Phoenix Concert Band
St George's Church, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3BR
Saturday 14th November 2020

Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble


Leeds College of Music Wind Ensemble
Monday 30th November 2020

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Is it just me?

Through the years I have conducted a variety of musical groups both professional and top-end amateur. I have developed techniques and strategies for most situations and have enjoyed success at all levels. This is pleasing because it takes a long time to really know if strategies actually work effectively and when they do it becomes obvious that progress is being made. This can be very encouraging for the group and it helps me to develop the next steps for each organisation.

There is one thing that always; and I do mean always, hampers a group\'s development and that factor is empty seats. Missing players for whatever reason is the key nightmare of amateur music making.

All of the groups I work with have waiting lists or deputy lists and due to the high standards of playing and the positive working atmosphere there is, quite rightly, a desire to be part of these groups. Yet still a rehearsal can be marred by missing players or even whole sections.

You would think that after all these years a normal person would be accustomed to these factors and would have another strategy to make the best of the situation. I can do that! Well, I should say that I can do that when I\'m not tired, stressed, busy and grumpy. (Can\'t think when that is though)

At certain times it can be the final straw in removing my motivation and drive. I have a back-up auto pilot which will come into play and give a fully functional, thorough and uncompromisingly technical rehearsal which will fix a lot of inaccuracies. Musically however, my mind will not be focussed and I appreciate the need for the odd rehearsal like that but it is not how I want to work. Should it happen on a regular basis, I would not be happy to use the auto-pilot that way.

What is the point of being a team member and constantly being an absentee? Of course there are a million good and compelling reasons why rehearsals have to be missed. That is a discussion for the players and the people who run things. For my part, I can only say that empty chairs are the destruction of progress.

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