Members Info

ATTENTION: due to the closure of Cornell Community Centre, MCB rehearsals are cancelled until further notice. Updates here as we have them.

 

Signing up for our members-only email list

The Band has a private email list which we use for updates on concert cancellations, upcoming events, and rehearsal playlists. To receive these important messages you must sign up by sending an e-mail to MCB members list with “subscribe” (no quotes) in the subject line telling us your name and which section you’re in. (Already signed up? Click HERE to be transferred to the group login page.)

Percussion equipment moving roster

The current version of the roster for moving percussion is available here.


Message from Doug – April 18th

Our next Zoom rehearsal is Monday, April 26. The playlist is at the end of this email.
 
Our question of the week comes from one of our band members: What is your favourite piece that MCB has played in the past? Please email me directly with your responses. 
 
This week, we’ll finish up our work on Carmen. If you missed this info before, please note that you’ll need to add rehearsal numbers as follows.
 
1. at the first repeat sign
2. 19 bars after 1
3. Andante Moderato
4. Allegretto
5. Allegro
6. left end of the repeated section
7. right end of the repeated section
8. double bar
9. Allegretto moderato
10. Allegro moderato
11. Habanera
12. 2nd bar of the 2nd ending
13. Allegro moderato
14. 18 bars after 13
15. Allegro moderato
16. Allegretto
17. 25 bars after 16
18 Allegretto
19. 19 bars after 18
20. Animato
21. Allegro vivo
22. 19 bars after 21
23. Allegro vivo
24. 35 bars after 23
25. 23 bars after 24
26. Allegro moderato
27.  bruscamenta, ritmato
28. the bar after the fermata
29. leggiero e con fatuità, sempre con ritmo
 
It seemed to take a long time to confirm the first quarter of these a few weeks ago, so please do your best to figure the rehearsal marks out before next Monday.
 
Warmup: player’s choice, but my suggestion is to try a scale you don’t know well. Warmups can always be both physical and mental, and should always be played musically.
 
Practice: #21 will take careful placement of the sixteenth notes to sound clear to the audience. The break inserted at #23 gives two quick bars of three before restarting. If you’ve got melody, tune the octaves carefully! From 26, it’s just a toe-tapping good time. (The poor lonely euph player in the recording is a bit overwhelmed by the rest of the band.)
 
Listening: I’m not sure I enjoy the interpretation of #3 in the last four bars. #4 (the Chinese student group), on the other hand, suffers from over-enthusiastic percussion.
 
 
Playlist for April 26:
 
 
 
 
 

Message from Doug – April 11th

 
Hope you can all join us for the Zoom rehearsal on April 12. Just drop in to say hi if you don’t feel like playing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reminder re Vern’s new piece I sent out last week- if you’re enjoying the sonorous tones of Gord’s MIDI file, great. But if you’d like something better, record yourself playing along to the track and email me the file. If we get a reasonable number of files, I’ll stitch them together for an MCB performance.
 
 
Weekly Challenge: Let’s continue to work on Carmen.
 
Warmup: player’s choice
 
Practice Carmen rehearsal marks 15 – 18 and 18 -21: In both cases, I’ve provided slow (#1) and up to speed (#2) versions. Remember these are originally vocal melodies- strive to play with a light, singing sound.
 
Listening: mp3 #4 appears to be a middle school or early high school student band. Very impressive technical facility, and I prefer some of their musical choices. (Bass line at rehearsal #3!) However, they edited it for their performance, leaving out some sections and taking a full break that wasn’t in the original arrangement. Definitely worth a listen, though. If you want to see them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APSlD5bfcts
 
 
Message from Doug – April 3rd
 
Happy Easter! Whether you observe the religious holiday or just eat the chocolate bunnies, it’s a sure sign that spring is coming.
 
Next Zoom rehearsal is April 12. The playlist is at the bottom of this email.
 
We’ll take a week off our mastery of Carmen to enjoy one of Vern’s latest pieces: What Could Possibly Go Wrong.
 
Warmup: player’s choice
 
Practice: When you get melody, bring it out. If you’re accompanying, strive for a light decay on long notes, rather than a full sustained sound.
 
Listening: There’s no live recording of this piece yet. We do have a MIDI generated version which is ever-so-slightly better than nothing. If you’re feeling ambitious, put on headphones, set up a mic, and record yourself playing along. Then email me the file. If I get a critical mass of recordings, I’ll stitch them together for a pseudo-live performance.
 
 
 
Here’s the playlist for our April 12 Zoom rehearsal:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Message from Doug – March 21st
 
Our next Zoom rehearsal is March 29. For those who like to work ahead, please see the bottom of this email for the  playlist. Still lots of head room for guests, so if you have a friend that would benefit from some social contact and sort-of playing together, encourage them to email me and I’ll get them set up.
 
I did some research into Jamulus. It’s an interesting concept, and might work for a small group of tech-savvy musicians, but I don’t think it’s viable for our group. They strongly suggest ethernet internet, not wifi, and specific microphones that few of us own. As far as I can tell, we’re doing about as well as we can with the current restrictions.
 
I visited Cornell on Thursday and brought home about five linear feet of music. There’s a variety of styles and difficulty. Some of our more recently performed pieces are either still in folders or not sorted and filed, so apologies to those who requested recent favourites.
 
For what it’s worth, the staff member at Cornell said that they’d been told to expect Cornell closure for the rest of 2021, with a possible call back in December to prepare for a January opening. Of course, no one knows whether that “opening” will include instrumental rehearsals.
 
Your exec will consider all options, but it’s unlikely we’re going to see resolution or even timelines for resolution soon. Hang in there, and find a way to stay involved in music and whatever other avenues of fulfillment you can find.
 
Question of the Week: Consider the evolution of TV and our viewing habits. Some of us are old enough to remember over-the-air signals and roof antennas. Then cable with the big grey box with two rows of buttons, remotes, and eventually a proliferation of channels and an unprecedented split of viewership. Perhaps we’re now seeing the same proliferation of steaming services- from Netflix, Disney+, and Crave to Crunchyroll and Britbox. Not to mention YouTube and various social media streams! Has your TV viewing shifted from live cable to streaming? If so, what’s the current split? 
 
Bonus points if you want to discuss the societal implications. When everyone could only get five channels, you couldn’t help but be accidentally exposed to new ideas and concepts. Is it harmful/dangerous to have a media supply so focused an individualized experience that you could spend your entire life just having your existing beliefs reinforced?
 
Our Zoom rehearsal on March 29 will cover:
 
 
March 22 Weekly Challenge:
 
Warmup: player’s choice. But try a new scale!
 
Rehearse Carmen: #4 – 9. For those who missed last week’s addition of rehearsal numbers, see last week’s email on our website. (Thanks, Gord!)
 
Mp3s #1 and 2 are the slow and fast versions. The reference recording ignores the marked tempo change between #4 and #5. Watch the accidentals in section 6- effectively, it’s modulated to Eb-. 
 
Listening: I’ll confess to some reinterpretive audio alchemy. When I first heard mp3 #3, the Brazilian Municipal Band, I found the opening too rushed to be enjoyable- so I slowed it down a bit. 😀  Interestingly, mp3 #4 (an orchestral version of the Prelude to Act I) “rushed” in exactly the same way. Have a listen to the two tracks and see what you think.
 
Message from Doug – March 14th
 
Some fun responses to our Question of the Week: Nutritional and health concerns aside- if you had to exist on one food for the rest of your life, what food would you choose?
 
If I had to exist on one food for the rest of my life, it would be pasta! N.F.
 
The lowly potato.
Just imagine the variety of ways that the spud has been presented. You can eat it raw, you can grate it and fry it up as potato pancakes, blintzes, latkes, Roestie, depending on your country of origin; you can fry them as raw slices, you can of course boil them and eat them that way, or slice the boiled potatoes and fry those,  you can mash them, you can scallop them, deep fry them as French fries, prepare them as potato chips, as Buffalo fries, or wrap them in foil to roast in the oven or even in the hot coals of a fire, that’s just off the top of the head of a mere male …. Enough? You can plant them and get some more for next year. Or shall I dig up some more ways.
P.O. ….. I neglected to add that one can make vodka out of them to drown one’s sorrows.
 
Cookies. There’s such a wide variety of textures and flavours that I’d never tire of eating them. D.M.
 
Peanut butter. P.V.
 
 
Looks like I’m allowed inside Cornell on March 18 or so. Last call for any piece requests.
 
 
Our Zoom rehearsal on March 15 will cover:
 
 
 
This week, we’ll start working on a great old potboiler- a medley/suite of songs from Carmen. There are so many tempo changes, though, that I’m handling this one a bit differently. I’ve paused the recording every time there’s a significant tempo change, and provided a click-track count in. It’s about 15 minutes long with no rehearsal letters(!) so here’s a bit of homework. When you print out your part (see below) please add the following rehearsal numbers.
 
1. at the first repeat sign
2. 19 bars after 1
3. Andante Moderato
4. Allegretto
5. Allegro
6. left end of the repeated section
7. right end of the repeated section
8. double bar
9. Allegretto moderato
10. Allegro moderato
11. Habanera
12. 2nd bar of the 2nd ending
13. Allegro moderato
14. 18 bars after 13
15. Allegro moderato
16. Allegretto
17. 25 bars after 16
18 Allegretto
19. 19 bars after 18
20. Animato
21. Allegro vivo
22. 19 bars after 21
23. Allegro vivo
24. 35 bars after 23
25. 23 bars after 24
26. Allegro moderato
27.  bruscamenta, ritmato
28. the bar after the fermata
29. leggiero e con fatuità, sempre con ritmo
 
Do you best to follow these, and if necessary I’ll clarify gradually over the next few Zoom meetings.
 
And now- finally- the weekly challenge. Given that I’ve been writing these for about eight months now, I think you’ve got enough warmup ideas. 😀  Going forward, I’ll start with the rehearsal focus and then some listening challenges. But please take the time to warm up! It’s a great opportunity to make good sound and articulation a habit.
 
Practice Carmen, 0 – 4: Note that mp3 #1 is a slowed version 0 – 3. Some of you will need some woodshedding before attempting even the slow speed! Section 3 is introduced with three slow clicks. By the way, some of you have single note tremolos at 3. This isn’t something you’d see requested in modern band music, and I don’t think it works well on the sample recording. For now, I’d just play them as dotted half notes. We might experiment with some eighth note pulses when we’re back live.
 
Listening: mp3 #3 is recorded by a municipal band from Brazil. Generally excellent technique and dynamic contrasts! I’d like to hear the low instruments play with a more string bass style on the bump notes in section 3.
 
 

 

Message from Doug – March 7th

 

 

 

 

We’re finishing up Argentum this week, and I’m partway through preparing PDFs for a great old pot-boiler- Selections from Carmen.

 
For those of you who are working ahead, here’s our playlist for the March 15 Zoom rehearsal: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And thanks to Annamaria, who started me down the path to discover that on Zoom, I can screen share my audio only. That will simplify my workload and save some rehearsal time. 
 
 
Question of the Week: Nutritional and health concerns aside- if you had to exist on one food for the rest of your life, what food would you choose?
 
 
March 8 Weekly Challenge
 
Warmup Eb+: After the usual long tones, try slurs of increasing distance- Eb, F, Eb. Eb G Eb. Eb Ab Eb, etc.
 
Practice Argentum, M – end. There’s melody passed around to various sections, and in some cases groups of sixteenths. Work on pulsing and placing the sixteenths carefully and accurately, so they don’t get crunched and rushed.
 
Listening: mp3 #4 is a recording of our local Community Band weekend in 2019. Considering style, it’s the recording I like best. Unfortunately, the tuba section gets lost for a while, though…  After hearing #4, go back and listen to #3. In my opinion, there’s sometimes less pomposity and more nobility in #4. I think that’s what I’ll be aiming for. Also- and again just my opinion- the march would benefit from more variety in dynamics. The loud sections stay loud for a long time- I might edit some dynamics.
 
 

Message from Doug – February 28th

You might have run out of things to watch on Netflix by now. I stumbled across a series of excellent videos from Conn-Selmer. Something for everyone here, I think:
 
 
 
Weekly Challenge:
 
Warmup- Eb+ scale: After some long tones, try working on tonguing. Several sections might want to use double or triple tonguing in Argentum. Pick a note, play four slow quarters, four eights, eighth sixteenths, and eighth and triplet sixteenths x 4, and finish with a long tone. Gradually increase your speed. Coincidentally, there’s an articulation video in the link at the top of this email. Here’s the direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbn_Prj9Nzk&list=PLcnEyfpRnJlhMX4vZOt1UQE9ZRaXDPuz2&index=34
 
 
Practice Argentum G to M: Depending on your section, there may be some technical challenges. Practice as slowly as you need to be perfect, and then work up to the mp3s speeds. As usual, mp3#1 is slow, and #2 is up to speed.
 
Listening: mp3 #3 is the Royal Regiment, and mp3 #4 is the Festival Wind Orchestra. There are probably more similarities than differences between the two performances. Think about what’s working, and what you’d do differently.
 

 Message from Doug – February 22nd

In a separate email, look for a PDF of our library listings. If you’re interested, browse the list and see if there’s anything you’d like me to add to the queue for our weekly challenges. I haven’t picked a date yet to go to Cornell to pick up music, but it will likely be in mid-March. So, no rush, but our access to the library is extremely limited. If you’ve got a request, be sure to get it in on this first visit. 

 
Our next Zoom will be March 1. Here’s the playlist, with PDFs and mp3s.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Re our last Zoom meeting- not shockingly, several of our expected guests were no-shows. Feel free to extend invitations to friends and family who might be interested- it looks like we’ll have lots of headroom on our max attendees. Please have them email me so I can add them to my MCB guest mailing list.
 
Question of the Week: What’s your go-to song/music when you want to improve your mood?  (It’s an eclectic selection of responses. Shockingly, no one mentioned Klingon opera.)
 
My go to song when I want to improve my mood would be Rock This Town by The Stray Cats. NF
 
My song is the uplifting ‘Passacaglia’ from Respighi’s ‘Ancient Airs and Dances’. WD
 
I usually put on CDs of Chopin, or, Band CDs.  No one song. DC
 
My go-to music is the Arrogant Worms, a Canadian comedy trio. They’re playing right now, in fact. 🙂 HW
 
There are so many, but this is one that works: July 1963, a hot one in Windsor Ontario, and then came a HEATWAVE! This version is sung by Joan Osborne and the Motown studio band. Love the Bari sax solo! Gotta put a smile on your face! DG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTKFR3ra2ts
 
Weekly Challenge:
This week, we’ll start Argentum, a concert march by Canadian composer Louie Calleja. I’ve found three recordings to share. To be honest, none of them are flawless. Perhaps we’ll be the first band to record the definitive edition.
 
Warm-up Eb+: After the usual long tones, go for speed in groups of three or five notes. (12321, repeated several times. 123454321, repeated several times, 23432… and so on) This piece has lots of scale flourishes in some parts.
 
Practice Argentum 0 – G: The parts are very well edited with articulation markings, and a successful performance will require careful execution. Mp3 #1 is slowed for rehearsal, and mp3 #2 is up to speed- about mm=120.
 
Listening: mp3 #3 is by the Royal Regiment of Canada. Have a listen to the A section (0 – G) and see if you can hear all the parts, and hear the important lines clearly. For our performance, I’ll be trying for a difference balance. There’s a very nice also countermelody at D that’s getting buried right now, and I’d like to try a much lighter bass line.
 
 
Message from Doug – February 14th

 

 
Don’t forget to ask your instrumentalist friends if they’d like to join us on our Zoom meetings. Heather sent out an invitation to our subscribers. Somewhat shockingly, we had seven subscribers interesting in watching the fun!
 
 
Let’s try a Question of the Week. Email me directly with your response, and I’ll collate and publish anonymously in next week’s Challenge email. What’s your go-to song/music when you want to improve your mood? We call all use a big of joy right now, so let’s share some mood-changers.
 
 
This week’s challenge is a one-shot: a beautiful ballad by Robert Buckley called “Memento”. There was no need to create slower-tempi mp3s for this one, and there are very few technical challenges. We’ll cover the piece in one lesson, and try it out “together” in a couple of weeks.
 
 
Warmup F+ and Ab+: Try long tones on F+, and slurred intervals on Ab+ (degrees 1, 2, 1; 1, 3, 1; 1, 4, 1 and so on)
 
Practice Memento (all): There are very few technical challenges in Memento. Strive asap to duplicate the legato, sustained airflow in the demo recording. I only see one note in the piece that’s accented!
 
Listening: As noted above, the band in the demo mp3 did a wonderful job executing a sustained airstream. Tuning is also excellent. After listening to the recording a few times following your part, try turning your music over and listening again. Concentrate on hearing the players who aren’t playing melody, and how they’re supporting the melodic line. Also, listen for the key centre changes- both those marked with a key signature change, and the quick wanders into other keys using accidentals.
 
Message from Doug – February 7th

Lots of extra stuff this week! I’ll put the weekly challenge stuff first (almost), but there’s lots of followup info below.

I’d like to suggest some extra homework.. It’s been great to see so many of the band members during our Zoom meetings, but there have been some notable absences. Section leaders, over the course of the next week or so, could you please try and make contact with the players in your section we haven’t seen? I’ve called the tuba players, and all are well.
 
Weekly Challenge:
 
We’ll finish up Resurgences this week. I’ll also include links for the pieces we’ll run through at our Feb. 15 Zoom meeting.
 
Warmup- F+: After a long tone scale, try something to push your brain. How about playing the scale in thirds- F, A, G, Bb, and so on. If you’re already good at that, try 4ths! 
 
Practice Resurgences 101- end: In this recap to the A section, there’s enough familiar material that you shouldn’t need too much woodshedding. Dealing with tempo changes and no conductor will require a few listens to be able to anticipate properly.
 
Listening: mp3 #4 is a New Hampshire based group- an adult community band, I think. I quite like the timp player’s choice of hard sticks in the opening. There are some wonderful moments, but some real challenges in tuning. They don’t seem to have any alto saxes, but a strong horn section makes it work.
 
 
 
Other Business
 
Thanks to John Sellens for these links to articles about Jack MacQuarrie:
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Yuki had a friend pass along some interesting social distancing rehearsal software. 
 
 
I’ve taken a quick peek, and it looks impressive but challenging. The video I watched suggested that it’s advisable to use ethernet rather than wifi, which will be a non-starter for some of us. I’ll investigate further and report back.
 
We had some good info shared during last Monday’s meeting:
 
1) Ninja Tuner- Len’s on-line tuner solution. https://tuner.ninja
 
2) Smart Music- Phil’s mp3 play-along site. https://www.smartmusic.com
 
 
4) Audacity- the free audio editor I use. https://www.audacityteam.org
 
We discussed inviting non-MCB members to our bi-weekly Zoom. It will promote interest in MCB from other musicians and help us stay in touch with our subscriber base. Heather agreed to contact our subscribers, and for musicians, we’ll start with your friends. Feel free to share the following with any band instrument friends that might want to engage with us:
 
Markham Concert Band is holding Zoom meetings every other Monday night, 7:30 pm – 8:30(ish). We have PDF music of our target pieces for the evening, and stream conductor’s video and mp3s. Everyone has their mics muted, due to the latency issue. If you’d like to play with us, please email Doug at dwmanning2@gmail.com to receive the log-in info and loaner PDFs.
 
We already have one person interested- James, a trombone player.
 
 
Followup to Peter’s question- Euph trill Bb to C
 
I couldn’t find an answer, so I emailed Carina Lam, the euph soloist that debuted Kristie’s piece a few years ago. Her response was quick and detailed:
 
When I trill middle Bb to C, I also use first valve. (In the higher octave, I would do open valve.) I think the challenge with this interval here is having control of your instrument and ultimately having a solid lip flexibility to prevent that “break” in sound. What have you tried already? Have you tried the following?:

 

 

 

 

 

 
1) mouthpiece buzz 
– gliss very slowly between Bb and C (get the pitches as in tune as possible)
– eliminate all breaks and aim for a steady clear pitch bend up and down
-work to keep your embouchure steady, reduced movement in chin/jaw in an effort to have steady airflow
-then once that’s all under control, start buzzing them faster in eights, sixteenths, sextuplets..etc.
2) half-valve on the instrument while playing the pitches Bb & C, following the same approach as buzzing
3) then try it again on the instrument and it should feel easier to achieve after regular practice, tongue /air coordination also impacts the output of the trill. 
 
Peter, I hope that helps.
 
 
If you’re still reading- stay safe, and do something that brings you joy.
 

Maps for our Shows

Click ‘view larger map’ on a particular map to go to a full-sized one where you can also get directions to the concert.

Flato Markham Theatre


Markham Fair


Markham Village Festival (Main St Markham and Robinson)

Orillia Aqua Theatre

RAIN LOCATION for Orillia

Details in the event of rain for Orillia

Doors to the Opera House will only be open at 5:30pm for load in. Band members can enter via the elevator entrance or front door. The elevator entrance is through the double doors – with windows – toward the back of the Opera House, directly across from the Library entrance in the parking lot.

From the elevator, the stage is on the 3rd floor. From the front entrance or ground floor, the stage is on the 1st floor (meaning up the stairs and through the double doors).

Unionville Millennium Bandstand

Click ‘view larger map’ on a particular map to go to a full-sized one where you can also get directions to the concert.

Suggestion Box (from Heather – June 19, 2019)

Many of you have given the exec ideas and suggestions, which is great. It’s often hard for us to keep track, though, especially when they’re given at rehearsals and we don’t have a chance to write them down.

 
So, we now have a form! If you go to https://forms.gle/oooDpmBoQ2CEAf186 you can give us your suggestion and why you think it’s something MCB should do. All responses come directly to me, and if they fit with our five-year plan I’ll take them to the exec for a group decision on whether (and when) to go ahead.
 
 

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