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 Christmas carols
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2017-12-02 05:12

Tonight was the annual Christmas season kickoff in Springfield, Vermont, wherein the community band plays traditional music, people sing, Santa arrives to cheers, and the town tree gets illuminated. Maybe 16-18 musicians were there, outdoors next to the downtown square. There was a good crowd, plenty of children. We played about a half hour, and quite a few onlookers sang along. We got a youngster from the crowd play sleighbells with us. Good fun.

It was about 34-degrees. My fingers got pretty cold on the metal keys, but they didn't go numb. I used my plastic instrument, a Buescher Aristocrat, which I have just for such events. The high-school student next to me played her wooden clarinet, and our oboist was there with her wooden instrument. As far as I know there wasn't any damage to those instruments from the temperature. Intonation went down from passable at the start to slightly painful toward the end. For tonight I'm glad of global warming: I remember in the late '60's and early '70's when it sometimes got much colder for this event.

I used my regular mouthpiece and wooden barrel. When I tried the Buescher out yesterday to make sure it still played, I noticed a surprising thing. I can play higher more easily on it than on my two R-13's. On those wooden clarinets I'm pretty confident to E7, with F and F#7 just getting respectable; the Buescher easily played to G7, with G#-B7 reachable but weaker and less easy. Double lip. Of course, that altississimo register wasn't needed for the Christmas carols we played tonight! The overall sound of the Buescher isn't terrible at all.

This was the first time I'd been with any other musicians since the end of the community band season in August. Correction: I went to a Johnny Lang concert in September, but maybe that doesn't count because I was part of the audience then.

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 Re: Christmas carols
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2017-12-02 07:14

My band has just had its grand Christmas concert called off due to the torrential rain we've had over the last couple of days. Normally in early December our problem is high temperatures as Dec 1st was the first day of summer. Today it's 15C (59F) and raining steadily. Last year it was 38C (100F). Next Saturday we start the round of Carols by Candlelight in a lot of the small towns to the east of Melbourne. I use a hard rubber B & H Imperial for these outside jobs, it seems to be weatherproof.

Tony F.

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