Lakeside Concert Band welcome Keith Allen
On 30th March the Lakeside Concert Band were joined by Keith Allen – a welcome change from the ordinary!
They started the rehearsal playing a Bach chorale, playing each of the 4 parts in unison to listen for ensemble and tuning then putting the music together in full harmony. More along the lines of tuning was listening to two clarinet players playing the same note and listening to the “beats” between them. The band was receptive to this new detailed listening and was interested to find out that it was easier to hear when you weren't playing. There was a noticeable improvement in their final play through of the chorale.
Keith asked each player to listen to two different sections of the band while playing, then asked various people who they could hear. Widening the players listening focus and therefore broadening their attention helped the balance and ensemble greatly. Keith brought along “Yorkshire Ballade” by James Barnes which the band really enjoyed playing and have since performed. As the tune was like a folk song it was easy to recognise, so it was a good exercise for the band to make sure they could always hear the tune when they were playing.
My favourite phrase from Keith was “the ribbon of gold” – referring to the saxophones, with their shiny gold lacquer, sitting across the middle of the band. He talked to them about how, often, they are extremely important to the harmony of the music, and how they must really be aware of who is playing the tune. Saxophones in great numbers always have huge responsibility!
It was a really useful rehearsal and gave the band lots to think about. Thank you to Lakeside Concert Band for their playing, and thank you to Steve Legge for arranging the event.