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 ensemble issues
Author: Drakiej 
Date:   2010-10-25 17:05

My being nice and wanting to help out has gotten me yet into another dilema. I play with small ensemble (25-30) and the clarinet section is about 6 members large if all are there. The issue is the guy selected as section leader has chosen to go outside of the normal set up of things, meaning
1st 2nd and 3rd respectively. He has it to where all clarinetist play each of the parts so as not to offend anyone. In most bands Ive played with you had some that played 1st only then your 2nds and then your 3rds and so on. he himself even plays the different parts so all of us are playing 1st on some parts 2nd on some and 3rd on others. Can I have your opinion on this type setup and is it ok or just not right to do it. btw the director doesnt seem to care what part we play so long as someone is playing it.

my computer has reverted back to an old program or something so my current email is not showing up ... 2cekce....drakiej@comcast.net.

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: gwie 
Date:   2010-10-25 17:43

If everyone can handle all the parts, and the part rotation allows everyone to enjoy playing everything, what is the issue? Player ability aside, part-rotation makes sense from almost any way you look at it. It's certainly more interesting for all involved, and is a more complete ensemble education for the less-experienced.

Let me commend your section leader for playing 2nd and 3rd parts as well. That's "lead by example" in true form.

Post Edited (2010-10-25 17:44)

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2010-10-25 17:49

Part rotation is fine, though I prefer that the players switch chairs so you don't get someone playing a solo clarinet part the back row three chairs in.

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodwindDoubling

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: concertmaster3 
Date:   2010-10-25 18:20

As long as all the players are capable of playing the 1st parts, I see no problem in it. In most cases, players that know that they can't handle the part, will opt out of playing the 1st parts.

Ron Ford
Woodwind Specialist

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: JamesOrlandoGarcia 
Date:   2010-10-25 19:05

I think the rotation idea isn't a bad one. It is a particularly good way of handling an ensemble where people don't audition. How do you determine what part people play if it isn't based on ability? Sex, age, gender, race, sexual orientation?

In the ensemble I play in based on the numbers I've set limited numbers of people on the upper parts at any given time. Usually two people on first and second and then three or four on the third part. If there is a conflict where more than two people want to play a particular part, we have an "audition" to determine.

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2010-10-25 19:24

We too started rotating, not necessarily for motivation but rather for backup issues - say if the first clarinetist calls in sick and the other one is on some family gig, there's at most one piece we couldn't play because not the same two players cover always the same parts. (two first, two seconds, two thirds out of a pool of six players).

What does give us a bit of a headache is the seating, though.


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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: clarionman 
Date:   2010-10-25 20:17

I play alto clarinet in the group I play with but the soprano clarinet section does switch parts but only after a concert. We do 4 concerts a year so only four rotations happen. I dont really like the music rotation for something that would be played in on concert. Imagine third clarinet music beign played our of the first chair and first played from the third row, or even worst musical chair between pieces in the clarinet section.

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2010-10-25 22:39

I think sharing parts is great.

It is terrible to be a newbie/beginner and never have the chance to play the "more interesting" voices.

Bravo for the concept of the more experienced and capable players coaching the others.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-10-25 22:42

As long as everyone is capable of playing the parts musically, I see no reason why this should be a problem. It keeps everyone more interested in the music.


“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."

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: mlz 
Date:   2010-10-25 22:51

I wish more ensembles would do this.. I am in one that does do this, no one HAS to take 1st or 2nd if they don't wish to, but the option is there. Another ensemble I am in tends to lose good people because they don't rotate.

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: 2cekce 2017
Date:   2010-10-25 23:20

thanks guys all of your responses were indeed right on it. I thought It might be an issue only because thats how I went through school, that is
if we wanted to play a part other than the one being played we had to audition for it and therefore moved up a chair or two. Most bands here in atlanta tend to stick to keeping 1st on 1st,2nd on 2nd, etc and no one ever rotates. I dont play in those bands btw. and those bands tend to never keep their players very long for what I hear.

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2010-10-26 02:22

"My being nice and wanting to help out has gotten me yet into another dilema."

In what way were you "being nice and wanting to help out" in all of this? What was your dilema?

I understand your question and see that you're comfortable with the arrangement. I just wasn't sure from reading your post what the relevance was between the intro line and the question.


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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: Ed Palanker 
Date:   2010-10-26 03:05

So the problem is? ESP http://eddiesclarinet.com

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 Re: ensemble issues
Author: Drakiej 
Date:   2010-10-26 16:52

I am the problem, and the dilema is that I was not willing to change an old habit and needed your input to help me see the light of things thank you so much.

Post Edited (2010-10-26 16:58)

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