Saturday, April 16, 2011

Words from Mr Rasull.

Taken off the Band Facebook group just in case a minority of you aren't in the facebook group:

Dear band, as much as the teachers say the results are not that important, unfortunately for me it is, and to a certain extent, the teachers. Thus the only way forward is not one where you have to work harder, but to work smarter. It begins the next time we meet on Fri for Canberran's Day rehearsal.

It begins first with DISCIPLINE. Reporting to band room as soon as you have cleared your classes, getting changed and instruments set up (some of you take your own sweet time to head to the toilet to wash your mouthpieces!). Warming up on your instrument - there are so many things you can do to help you warm up, and this DOES NOT include banging on the drum set. Warming up must be treated as a revision of skills learnt e.g. scales, common rhythms, etc.

FUNDAMENTALS of music - have I not stressed this enough already. Breathing, tone, technique - expect to see a lot of these issues raised by the judges in their comments to you in the next few weeks or so. The next few months will be spent on playing EVERY SINGLE NOTE AND PAGE in the "I RECOMMEND" book. You must learn to read and understand and execute all the exercises in this book, before you even begin to learn any piece of music. Music is still a foreign language to most of you, and you must try your best to learn it just like you learn English in school. Percussionists will learn their "I RECOMMEND" on mallets.

******very important*******
Seems that the Harmony Director is not enough to train your LISTENING SKILLS. I will need everyone to make an investment, for your own benefit (only Sec 1s, 2s and 3s). All Woodwind and Brass players will need to purchase YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL TUNER with microphone - the cheapest and quite reliable KORG CA-1 (the one that I use) will cost something like $30 to $35, but we may get a discount if we are able to purchase a big number at a time. It will be of a great help anytime you play your instrument, whether in full band practice or at home, as you can check to see if you are in tune or not. It will help in your listening skills. As for Percussionists, you willl need to own a pair of DRUMSTICKS (maybe $15-$20) and a practice pad (see if I can find the $10 one, they usually cost much more). Please see me or the teachers if you have problems coming out with the money and we'll see how best to help you at that. I will like everyone to have these items just before we break for the mid-year exams, so that we can immediately start using them. I'm sure you'll take very good care of them, because you own them.

SECTIONALS - I need not say any more. That's the time where you spend learning new pieces or practicing your assigned pieces until you get every single note right, be it yourself or as a section, or even between sections (e.g. flute and clarinet). BE FOCUSED. BE SERIOUS. BE PRODUCTIVE. If you get bored or get stuck, go back to "I RECOMMEND", do a few exercises, and head back to practicing your piece. If you are smart enough, you will want to find exercises in "I RECOMMEND" that closely resembles whichever part of the music you are practicing. If all these are in place, we do not need much time for full band (meaning, not even Saturday morning rehearsals).

Lastly, COMMITMENT. Face it, BAND is an activity requiring a rather heavy commitment - till now I am proud to say about myself that I have never unnecessarily skipped any band practice (am talking about my outside bands) just because I didn't feel like going - it's only because I have another rehearsal or engagement. That is because I value every single band practice, because that's the only time I have these days to learn my pieces. You know, for that West Winds concert in March that you guys attended, we only had ONE.... ONE official sectional, and that was because full band had to be cancelled as the conductor was sick - yet we made sure we learnt our parts individually to the required performing standard. This is commitment for you - commitment to attend the required rehearsals, and commitment to learn whatever piece that was decided for us to play. You only have to show me commitment, and at the end of the day should you still fail for some reason, commitment is what we value more, not the result.

Please make sure everyone in the band reads this, so that we have the same understanding of what needs to be done ASAP to improve ourselves.

I sincerely thank everyone of you, band members and teachers, for all your hard work towards this SYF - as a conductor is but nothing without his musicians.
- Mr Rasull.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Points to take note!

CSS Band!
After Saturday's band practice, I'll need you guys to make some notes ~
This is what I feel can be improved, and worked on during sectionals.

(apparently i'm a brass player, so i only took note of the brass section. hahah.)
The Singapore Flyer
- Trombones
1) Please do not scream your notes at bar 2 to 7 and take note of the off-beats.
2) At bar 9, please tongue and accent your notes, but do not scream, again.
3) Please do not slow down at the beginning.
- Horns
(this section particularly has more notes because... i play the horn. so, yeah. not because i'm pinpointing ok!)
1) Please count your notes, and accent at bars 19 and 25 (must come out at this part!).
2) At the pick up beat of A, please make sure your E is in-tune with the melody.
3) Part C, D, H, I, please play together with the tambourine and listen to the melody.
(If you can't, practise with filling the quarter rests with F)
4) Bars 7 to 9 and bars 97-99, please do not rush and tongue properly. Accent the last 4 crotchets.
5) At bar 24, take note of the one beat rest.
- Trumpets
1) Please do not scream your notes at bar 2 to 7 and take note of the off-beats.
2) At bar 9, please tongue and accent your notes, but do not scream, again.
3) The melody can be a little smoother.
4) Please do not slow down at the beginning.
- Euphonium
1) Slur your notes at E, do not detach the high notes.
(solution to this problem : breathe, breathe, breathe!!)
2) At C & H, do not play the marcatto parts sloppily. Sforzando ~
3) At 67, take note of the ritardando.
- Tuba
1) Take note of parts C and H.
2) And 67, take note of ritardando.
3) Do not over play your parts.

In general,
1) Be careful of your intonation and tune at 63.
(Remember parts 1, 3, 5? Which is the bar that sounds most off?)
2) Do not overpower the woodwinds.
(Remember what Mr Rasull said? What other to work on apart from timing and intonation? Yes, dynamics.)
Play soft at parts you're supposed to play soft, and play loud when you're supposed to.


It's barely 2 weeks!!!

Put your 100% effort in band, and trust me, it's worth it.
Cast aside your fears due to the result we had 2 years ago, and do your best for this year's.
Cry tears of joy and not tears of sadness, ok?

I'll try to make a post about the parts the woodwinds and percussion need to take note of. Okay?

and and and,
Satoshi Yagisawa's words of encouragement to the bands who are taking part in SYF this year.
(the video disables encoding :(, so click it click it click it. )

Saturday, January 8, 2011

CCA fair

Hello hello band!
How was CCA fair today?
I hope everyone enjoyed it as much, and even though i wasn't there i heard the teachers danced in the parade square??

Alright here are some pictures very very brazenly stolen from Mr Ho's facebook album.

Cairong and Gene looking reaaaaaally serious!
The band looking really handsome from the back, woo!~

aqasyah looking handsome... (?)
Our beloved assistant drum major on the drums!
View of Fareez from the top for once!
Fareez from the top, nope. No balding spots, dandruff or lice.
Hair growing fine! (Y)
Joey, what were you telling Pauline???

Girl power! All females with french horns!

Any more pictures from CCA fair you'd like to share?
Don't be afraid, embarrassing photos, cute photos, come and upload them!
Lai lai lai ~~

- Evelyn

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ngee Ann Poly concert

Hey band! Happy new year!
A new year, a new and improved band, and let's resolve to work hard for both band and our studies, ok?
This year is one very crucial year, because SYF is coming!! Ahhh!!

Alright, i just want to update something.
(taken from the tagboard)
Ngee Ann Poly Concert Band will be having a concert on the 9th jan 2011, please contact either Cruyff or Wai Ling for the tickets if you're interested. Tickets are at 12 bucks each.
For more details, please visit here.

I highly recommend that the band should go to concerts in order to broaden our knowledge of how different bands play and also to compare what bands have that we don't, so we can work on what we're lacking to close up the gap and improve.

Don't you all agree???

- Evelyn

Monday, December 20, 2010

SP band concert

Singapore Poly Symphonic Band is having a concert at Expo on the 23th of January 2010 at 12 bucks. Anyone interested please contact Janessa for details.

- Evelyn