As we all approach the end of semester 1, it is timely to reflect on what you have achieved to this point in the year. How are your bands/ensembles going? Do you have a solid group of keen students who are regular attendees at rehearsal? Are they taking their parts away to practice and seeking to improve? Are they challenged, but not terrified? Have you had good positive results/performances throughout this semester at Generations in Jazz or perhaps at your school concert? I had a great rehearsal last week with one of my bands where we reflected on what we had achieved. The students were pretty honest, and admitted that some of them had "dropped the ball" after the big concert event earlier in the term and their priorities turned to winter sport practices, and/or academic pressures. We sight-read three new pieces of music of medium to difficult repertoire. Whilst they understood the differences in stylistic demands of the three, the one they really want to focus on is the VERY hard one! I put it out there to see how they reacted and was pleasantly surprised by their steely determination to learn it and give it a go. I would have chosen the middle one of the three (in terms of difficulty) but they saw the benefit of being challenged in order to learn it on a fairly tight timeline (interrupted by holidays) in time for our next big concert.
Moral of the story? - don't underestimate the ability and willingness of your students to engage and take a challenge. It would have been easy for me, at this end of a busy semester to be a little tired and jaded and not even table the "difficult" piece, but I'm glad I did. Their response will send me to holidays at the end of this week in a much better frame of mind!
Ah! the positivity of youth!
Well the 2017 Festival is over and done with for another year! On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to thanks the Music Directors, teachers, conductors, school administrators, parents and supporters for helping to make this a reality. Clearly this event is now a permanent fixture in many schools' calendars. Successes for this year:
- 118 performances across the stage in three days - and on time!
- Conducting feedback/mentoring
- Growth in the Intermediate and Junior/Novice Sections
- fewer entries at the Advanced level :(
If you have any constructive feedback please email us at email@example.com
Join members of both ASME (SA Chapter) and ABODA SA as we dissect what the adjudicators are looking for in your bands at the SA School Band and Orchestra Festival in August!
Join me (Darryl Pope) as I work through conducting and rehearsal techniques both theory and practice (with the Burnside Youth Concert Band). discuss Score preparation, rehearsal techniques and how best to prepare your band in the limited rehearsal time you have!
register at http://tinyurl.com/mkubn9c or log onto www.asme.edu.au/sa/sa-chapter-council/professional-learning/
see you there!
How do you decide what Division to enter your Concert Band, Big Band or Orchestra? When it says "Novice" - what does that really mean? I prefer to think about what you want to get out of the experience for your Bands/Ensembles but most importantly what do you want the students to get out of it! It was obvious in the 2016 Festival that some schools entered their best band/orchestra/ensemble into a section that really was too low for them. Of course they did very well and sometimes really "stood out" from the crowd. But did they achieve what they wanted? Is it a "win" that you are chasing? Is it a "Gold"? I insist on entering my student ensembles into the most demanding section that they can cope with. (ie - they can get through one of the "set pieces" adequately). I do this because I want teh ensembles to aspire to be the best they cab be. To be as good as "XXXXXXX" Band (they are amazing!). By aspiring to go "up a Div." they have set higher expectations and are aspirational. Isn't that what all of want for our students? Isn't it all about "personal bests" and being the best we can? Taking on challenges? I implore every School Band or Orchestra Director to set higher goals, or go out and play with the "big kids". don't ever underestimate your students, set them challenges, raise the expectation. I bet your students won't disappoint. Let's hope that the "Advanced" Sections are overflowing with hard working aspirational talent in 2017!
Join us at ANBOC 2016 to learn from some of the best Clinicians in the world. Band, Strings, Percussion. There is something for everyone! In partnership with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music ABODA NSW brings you the National Band and Orchestra Clinic in Sydney from Friday September 23 - Monday September 26. Great sessions from leading clinicians as well as the interaction with colleagues from around the country.
Mark will present a workshop on best practice for percussion sections in wind bands and orchestras. This is an opportunity not to be missed!!!
See you at ANBOC 2016 @ The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney
Registrations at openacademy.sydney.edu.au See you there?
Professional Learning Programmes
ABODA SA is proud to bring you John Morrison (Internationally renowned Drummer, Band Leader and Jazz Educator) in a great Professional Development Workshop NEXT TUESDAY evening (May 17th) at Pembroke School - 6 - 7.30pm at the heavily subsidized cost of just $40!!!
(Cash at Registration or Accounts can be sent)
It's all a set up!
How to position your Band and Rhythm Section - how to get the most out of your students and how to get the style and sound you want for your Band.
Come and enjoy the advice and experience of one of Australia's best Big Band Drummers and Jazz Educators - whether your Band is just starting out - or is well on the way to success and swingtime!! John has extensive experience working at levels from basic Primary Schooling through to Tertiary Ensembles and Professional Bands. The Rhythm Section set up is crucial to your success! This is a great opportunity to learn some tricks about how to get your students to sound like a Jazz Rhythm Section when they have grown up in a digital world of hip hop and dance music! Bring your instrument and come and enjoy teh knowledge and experience of a true master of the art!!!
Many people get concerned about the competitive nature of Festivals and Competitions when it involves music. Yet they are ok about their children playing competitive sport every weekend, and they probably are members of a "footy tipping" competition. So what's the problem? Students live in a competitive world, we all live in a competitive world! The problems happen when there is an unhealthy emphasis on winning. Many of the members of ABODA SA will be heading to Mt Gambier this weekend for the 2016 "bigger and better" version of Generations in Jazz along with thousands of others. I know I have already won! My band is focused (win!) and has been practicing hard (win!), they are cohesive, committed, cooperative and trying to be the best they can be (win!) because on Saturday they compete - for the opinion of one or two wise souls who are tasked with deciding which band/s are the best on the given day ( Saturday). I think the value of this great Festival is in the collegiality of the Band Directors and the excitement and motivation of the students. As I said the winning is "in the journey" not at "the destination". The Festival is the celebration point for all that work and motivation. Whether we win a prize or not becomes totally irrelevant! Name me a Band Director whose band has become "worse" by practicing and striving to be their best this weekend?
My very best wishes to all Band Directors, Teachers and students for this great weekend.
Have a blast!
August 24 - 26 will see Westminster School's Michael Murray Performing Arts Centre as the centre of activity for the 2016 Band and Orchestra Festival once again. Graded sections for Percussion Ensembles, String Orchestras, Concert Bands and Stage Bands will again be adjudicated by some of Australia's most well respected musicians and conductors.
Further details can be found in the Band Festival section.