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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000211.txt from 2004/10

From: CBA <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Differing skill levels
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 02:24:03 -0400

Ever think about having a chamber group (either orchestra or
band) within the band that plays music a few levels higher than
the rest of the band, and they play half the concert? The
smaller group could be an auditioned group, with the other
people being able to continue to play in the larger ensemble
without penalty...people can choose to audition for the smaller
group, and the smaller group can be the cream of the crop for
the group.

This has worked a lot in college "middle" or second bands
(depending on how many you have at the college.) The first band
is usually the cream of the crop, and the third (or last band)
is usually for doublers who are learning, or non music majors.
The middle band (or second band if there are two) inevitably
have good players who were just a step behind the last chair of
the first band (happens a lot in saxes in schools, where there
are more good saxes than parts for the groups) and some are
really supposed to not be in the first band.

You take a piece with a smaller grouping (say Holst's "Country
Song" and "Marching Song" for orch or band, or Hartley's
"Concerto for 23 winds", or Stavinsky's "LHistorie du Soldat" or
any divertimento, octet, etc...) and let the top players really
shine. Then the slower moving music doesn't have to feel so also can play a little heavier music for the
large group, because there is less of it to practice.

Kelly Abraham
Woodwinds - Computer Geek
Hattiesburg, MS
--- Erik Tkal <> wrote:

> Allen Levin wrote:
> >
> > [ ... ] And (I must admit) a couple of players
> > stopped attending rehearsals because they didn't want to be
> challenged. I
> > still fret about that. I didn't want to take away the fun.
> -------------------------------------
> That's a tough aspect of a non-audition group, and there's no
> good answer. If you don't challenge the players then they
> don't improve. And having players that can't handle the
> material makes it much less fun for everyone else, no matter
> how much fun it might be for themselves to sit and noodle. So
> how does one compromise?
> I play in a community orchestra that is really not very good.
> It would be great to eliminate about a third of the strings
> because they drag the rest of the orchestra down. The problem
> is that if we pick less challenging material to cater to the
> poorer players, then the more talented players tend to think
> of leaving. And when we play the harder stuff sometimes we
> just don't sound very good, and of course that frustrates the
> better players as well.
> I also play in a community band that is very good. We play
> hard stuff and because the band overall is pretty good I think
> that the members want to work harder. In that group the poorer
> players tend to leave because it's more frustrating to them to
> not be able to keep up.
> Erik Tkal
> if you get the
> digest.
> Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

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