This is probably more of a rant than a question, but how do folks in old-school brass bands keep their chops fresh?
I recently joined a community band that plays a mix of pop's tunes and traditional marches. This weekend we had a repeat performance at an outdoor venue and in the interest of not boring a similar audience with the same songs from last month the director took out most of the pop's charts and added (you guessed it) extra Sousa marches.
I normally have nothing against the man, but the combination 5 Sousa marches and 3 or 4 other similar style marches mixed in with a couple of pop's songs really beat the life out of my lip. We only played for a little over an hour, but it felt like I never had a chance to rest.
Range and volume aren't really an issue with the pieces, so I'm obviously doing something wrong when I'm playing. The other guy that splits the lead book with me wasn't there, so that compounded things, but when the balance is the other way (more pop's than marches) I have plenty of lip left at the end.
I'm looking on-line for a "10 Weeks To A Perfect Sousa Embochure" book but it doesn't look like anyone has written it yet!!!