Date: 2010-06-21 18:56
OK, here's the story:
last Wednesday, our community band performed in a conert series at a local church. Apparently we had been there before, a number of years ago. The house was packed, and the audience was quite welcoming, enthusiastic and appreciative. Things went pretty well, and the band had one of its better concerts of the season. So far, so good...
Now here's the rub: My daughter (back from her first year of music school) got asked by the director to sit first chair 3rd clarinet, as there were only two others in the section that evening. We had three firsts (one doubling on eefer), four seconds, and (now) three thirds). A pretty decent mix. We also had one bass.
The program wasn't all that difficult, and my daughter breezed through the sight reading of the concert pieces. The other two third players were another story; neither could figure out a piece that relied heavily on the use of 6/4 meter, and neither of them could play more than a measure of a divided third part in an arrangement of the Navy Hymn, "Those in Peril on the Sea." The first and second parts were similarly split, and nobody had difficulties. In fact, if they had asked for help ANY TIME WITHIN THE THREE MONTHS WE HAD BEEN REHEARSING THESE PIECES, someone would probably have been able to offer assistance and interpretation.
So, in a band that is all volunteer, and heavy on retirees, how does one tactfully urge older members with very limited skills to upgrade their playing a little? I really don't want to drive them out of the band, but is it asking too much that they should be able at least to slog through the music? My daughter ended up as the solo third clarinet more often than not. Granted, it necver sounded better, but that's beside the point, isn't it?
“Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.” Kalman Opperman, 1919-2010
"A drummer is a musician's best friend."
Post Edited (2010-06-21 18:56)