Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


One More Boo

2016-one-more-boo-flyerIt’s that time of year again. Time for musicians around here to get dressed up and play the first Community Band concert of the season. No we’re not dressing all in black, no tuxes for the guys, no black skirts or dresses for the women.

It’s time to get dressed up. Seriously dressed up.

We’ll be playing our season opener next Tuesday. We’re doing several scary pieces, but perhaps the scariest is Strange Humors by John Mackey. For some of us in the band it’s the stuff of nightmares. Those of us sitting in the back are counting over 100 measures of rest in assorted time signatures. 3/4, 5/4, 4/4. Pay attention or you’ll be lost. Don’t listen to the music, just watch the baton and count.


We there in the back have marked our music with which instruments are playing during which section of rests that we count. So that when we get out of sync, when we lose concentration for a moment, we might have a chance of getting right. Otherwise we miss our entrance and then all is lost.


So if you come to our concert (7:00 p.m. at the Clarkston High School, Tuesday November 1) and wonder why we at the back are all focused and serious when we aren’t playing anything you’ll know it’s because we’re counting.

Don’t distract us.

The piece is just over five minutes long; we make our entrance at three and a half minutes. We don’t want to miss it. And yes we’re doing our Halloween concert the day after Halloween.

Because everyone needs One More Boo.

I’m going as a pirate. You’re invited to dress up too.

Middle aged pirates wear glasses.

Middle aged pirates wear glasses.


Scary concert

Practice practice practice!

Practice practice practice!

Tuesday night was the last rehearsal before our Halloween concert.  I need to practice every night.  Every. Night.  Last night I spent 30 minutes on a few measures of Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz.  It’s all pretty good except for some transition triplets that, counting in two, I can’t seem to get.  And it’s pretty much just us clarinets doing it…so at rehearsal it was mush.  Really bad mush.  I’ve written in the beats of each measure.  I’ve slowed it down.  I’ve counted it in four.  I’ve tongued the triplets to keep track even though it’s not written that way.  Sigh.  I need to figure this out.

We’re also playing Vesuvius by Frank Ticheli.  It’s supposed to represent a volcano.  We aren’t quite there.  I’ve been playing along with a recording of it for a few weeks.  That helps a lot, but still this is one you have to keep counting and not get caught up in listening to anyone else.  Take a moment and listen to it.  It’s a pretty cool piece.  If we had about 3 more weeks of practice it would work out.  But the concert is next Tuesday.

And yes we’re playing some other music that we can get through with less angst.  But I have to say, our concert’s title is apt.  “Things that scare us.”

Cause I’m feeling plenty scared.