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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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September 2007

The new term has begun. Work has resumed and soon all the rehearsals for Autumn and Winter will begin. Let\'s go for it!

5th Sept 2007

I was just pondering the last time I went 6 weeks without playing or conducting a rehearsal or performance. It was before I joined my first cruise ship; even before my first summer season so that makes it 1975; the summer I spent working at Barratt\'s of Manchester, repairing instruments at their factory in Denton. Things get hectic though, fairly quickly and then I wonder how long it will take to feel as if the holiday never happened. Let\'s wait and see!

6th September

Harlequin rehearsed last night after the summer break. Things look positive for this year with concerts, tours and dates all on the cards. We will build on our past successes and continue to represent the best in brass playing. There was a time when things would get very rusty after a long layoff but standards remain high.

8th September

Things are getting into full swing again and if you check the events diary, you will see a lot of concerts advertised for the coming months. Some excellent pieces; Samurai, Cloudcatcher Fell, Danceries, Canons and Cadenzas, and we are also considering Three City Blocks, Dreamscapes, as well as others. \"Closure\" has been played and recorded by the Equinox Saxophone Ensemble and a version is under rehearsal by the Yorkshire Saxophone Choir. \"Radio Days\" will get an outing by NSWO and I will try to get a recording of that performance to aid publication.

Harlequin Dances continues to be performed in the brass and sax versions and there is a good chance of \"Live at the Empire\" being performed by a school with very good music/drama credentials. I must make more of an effort to get the music published; there just isn\'t the time to get the scores and recordings to the right people; who ever the right people may be! Certainly there is no news on the publication of the large version of HD.

10th September

I just realised I\'m scrolling the wrong way again. Oh well, variety is the spice of life. YWO rehearsal tonight. I hope they\'ve all been practising over the holidays! {canned laughter!}

16th September

A trip to Nottingham for the first NSWO rehearsal of the new season. Lots of exciting music for them to sight-read including Martin Ellerby\'s Symphony, which is excellent, Canons and Cadenzas which left them a little bemused, Samurai which makes everyone work hard, to name but a few. The group was quite responsive considering the long break and this is a good thing as we have a busy few months ahead. Margaret has brought me a squirrel from the Tyrol. (Yes, it rhymes). This clever little chap wears his traditional tyrolean outfit and if you squeeze his tummy, he yodels! As do I.

I am gradually getting a really nice collection of musical furry animals from various groups. I have a Scottish squirrel and a NYWES bunny. I have a YWO squirrel and a rabbit from one of the raffles. I have a couple of gnus too. Margaret thinks the squirrel from the Tyrol may actually be a Marmot; that\'s the thing about Marmot; you either like it or hate it!

The first two weeks of term have come and gone and so has my voice. Six weeks of relative quiet and calm have been replaced by talking, shouting, teaching, cajoling and by Friday afternoon I had a terrible sore throat which lasted until Sunday morning. It doesn\'t help that my teaching load is way above average. Am I complaining? Yes, I am but I can do that on my own website. And another thing..................

20th September

A rehearsal with Harlequin, who are preparing for a short tour of concerts in Holland, the finale of which is an appearance at the wonderful Concertgebou in Amsterdam on Sunday 30th September. The group will appear with a choir of 1000 voices and as well as accompaniment to the choir, they will provide their own contributions to the programme.

The last tour was eventful and fun, resulting in many new catchphrases and adding to legends and anectodes. The piece, Harlequin Dances was written as a sort of musical description of the trip. Could Harlequin Dances II be on the cards??

23rd September

Another week goes by and I\'m still busy. The site is not quite as immediate as I want it to be, all due to lack of time.

Today was another NSWO rehearsal and although it started very slowly the group began to sound, in places like they did before the long holiday.

It is interesting to take a work back onto the stand which has been successfully performed earlier in the year. The orchestra seems surprised that the piece needs so much rehearsal. The reason being that the qualities required to perform this music, in terms of ensemble issues, are not yet firmly embedded as habitual paramaters for all of the players. I think that later in the year, when everyone is \"match-fit\" the situation might be different. Make no mistake, this is a very good and improving group, on the whole and I would expect that this will become part of their ethos in the future.

It struck me that I give out so much criticism; hopefully constructive and justified, throughout the week that I ought to be good at taking it too. I discover that I can take it, unless it is given without thought to how things could be improved. If someone suggests improvements which I feel are counter-productive I become a serious pain in the arse! When it comes from a source that I trust and respect and it makes perfect sense to me, I\'m grateful and compliant. I like to do things in the most positive way possible and try, not always successfully, not to patronise.

Today, poor old Marcel Marceau died at the age of 84. Yes the famous mime is no more. I thought I\'d share his last words with you.............................................................................................................................

28th September

Harlequin fly to Holland today and I will join them tomorrow. They have a rehearsal and concert tonight and will have to manage without me.

Friday already and I have not had time to add to this site all week. There have been many rehearsals, with YWO improving and Harlequin working towards the tour, NSWO and Phoenix have all added up to a busy week. Things will surely calm down soon after the Curriculum review, open evening, Y12 parents meeting and everything else that is going on. It\'s nearly October and I will remember to write this so that you do not have to scroll down every time!

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