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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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New Year's Resolutions

At this time of the year there are a lot of good intentions being turned firstly into resolutions, then to good efforts before dissolving into compromises and being forgotten.

What would I want to suggest as firm targets for my groups? Certainly there are aims and objectives but targets should be attainable, realistic but ambitious. The best word to apply is "improve".

If a target was to improve attendance or punctuality; this is attainable with some effort. To say that there will be full attendance is to set one's self up for failure as it is simply not possible.

Here are my suggested targets for improvement for each group in the order that I conduct them in 2011.

Harlequin Brass: We shall be working to add to, and improve our core repertoire with the inclusion of some challenging music to add to the more entertaining pieces.

I want to improve the middle dynamic ranges and the attention to detailed phrasing that the group has shown an understanding of thus far. I want to bring an even more chamber music type approach to the mini-ensembles within the group and increase the range of voices with which we communicate. None of this indicates that the group is not doing these things already; I simply want to improve it and move things forward. I would like a more consistent attendance and a partridge in a pear tree as well!

Phoenix Concert Band: I want to see a more consistent attendance here too as well as a more punctual start. Saying that, I found myself late this week after a police incident delay at our local traffic lights (big excitement).

When a conductor complains about lateness it is virtually assured that the conductor will be unavoidably delayed on the next rehearsal!

I want to build on the work done on the residential in terms of cohesion of attack and phrasing which has already improved the playing. I want to improve the contribution made by the 2nd and 3rd players and to build a team ethic that might result in fuller participation in events like that in the future.

Nottingham Symphonic Winds: Last year I wanted to work more on challenging and interesting repertoire, whilst preparing the audience based programmes quicker and more efficiently. This has begun to pay off so the group is already underway with the resolutions for 2011. I want to continue to develop the sense of balance and poise of phrase that is beginning to set the orchestra apart from most groups of its type. The linear progress made in the last five years shows no sign of slowing and these musicians will never be complacent.

Yorkshire Wind Orchestra: This group is on a bi-weekly rehearsal schedule and those rehearsals are only 2 hours long. It takes a very efficient regime to make this work and I have to trust these players to choose how things are played and bring the music to life quickly. I want to give them the opportunity to be the best that they can be. I can do this by spending time defining the parameters for performance that can be applied to all of the music. I would like preparations to be thorough and safe so that thier skills can be used for more than surviving difficult circumstances and the emphasis can be on high quality performance. We have huge confidence in one another and that has built a platform for further development.

So, those are my resolutions and they will not fall into vague memories because they involve everyone and they form the basics of everything we already do.

Happy New Year Everyone!

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