Trumpet Discussion Discuss community band in the General forums; Manny,
I play in a community band. The level of musicianship is high. We perform 3 concerts over what I ...
I play in a community band. The level of musicianship is high. We perform 3 concerts over what I would call the school year. The idea of the band is to perform and work on music that is harder then you would find in an ordinary (for free) band.
I received this email today. It seems to me that the for free and for music and for fun band is turning into a military band. Before I answer back I thought I would see what you guys thought.
You may remember my "Band Decorum" mail #1 from a few months ago. I would like to remind you all of several points for this concert.
No one on stage more than 5 minutes prior to downbeat.
Leave the stage at intermission.
No cases on stage.
Please review the others!
My new addition for this concert is Band Decorum at intermission. This actually came via a request from several members and I agree fully!
At the end of each half, please exit the stage by the wings, not the stairs into the hall. When meeting guests during intermission, PLEASE do not meet in the hall. Please do so in either the first or second floor lobby or other predetermined area. You may meet in the hall after the concert, after leaving the stage and reentering through the lobby doors.
Compared to the pages of deportment instructions that many brass bands have over here, that is quite mild.
Have you yet got to the two uniform situation?
Most of the top brass bands I have played with have had both "walking out" uniform and "stage uniform." If you are off the stage, you are expected to be wearing the "walking out" uniform, even if it just the interval. If you were to walk off the stage after the first half, from the front, whilst still wearing your stage jacket, it could be the end of your time with that band and you would probably have a fine waiting for you when the concert finished. This is with the amateur world of brass bands!!
There are even prizes at many contests purely for the deportment of the band!
Okay, so I can look at it from both perspectives as a performer and as an MD of a very high quality youth organization.
I can imagine that when you got the memo you had to wonder "Where is all THIS coming from?". It seemed, I'm sure, a drastic vibe change from what you're used to. My experience has been that when we've made changes at the MYS they've been the result of a lot of discussion with the other affected parties.
If the conductor seems to be looking for a bit of order, I can sympathize. Adults are a slightly different animal when it comes to order during a concert. Kids basically do what they're told with few exceptions. Adults, think "Yeah, yeah... I got it... leave me alone, all right? I'm a big girl now." They're harder to keep track of or corral when necessary because they're so "grown up". You also make a presumption about the talent level of the group and concert behavior. It's a high artistic level group but that has no effect on decorum, necessarily. During MO concerts, nobody goes down to the main floor to chat with or otherwise get together with audience members. If they have to meet they do it at the backstage door. Yes, there's the occasional handshake from someone on the main floor extended to a performer still on stage.
So, my contention is that this move likely comes from a concern about something that most responsible people probably haven't caused but wind up having to adhere to. Going off away from the stage helps keep one's game face on, I've found.
When we play we wear tuxedoes (sp?). I think that the conductor wants us to look like the Minnesota Orchestra. The difference is that we are not a professional band. In youth orchestra I think of that as a learning experience. "This is how we do it in the big leagues so when you get there you will know."
Our band used to be low key. Lets make music and have fun. We played for free and the audience listened for free .
We have had a new music director for about one year and the changes are coming really fast, musically for the better. We now charge to get in to the concerts. First it was five dollars and now eight.
I only play in one free group. When I play for money I do as I am told. I'm thinking that this should be more fun then structure.
I am the band president so I can make a deal out of this stuff, but maybe I have a different idea then the rest. For now I will leave it alone.
I think it's wise for you to do so, B. "Discipline is not the enemy of enthusiasm" or at least, so says former high school principal Joe Clark. Something "for fun" can have structure and a sense of decorum and order. You may well find that the "Fun" is even greater once these standards are in place. Give the MD a shot at doing things a little differently.
See how things develop.
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