March 12, 2016

Dear Parents:  It helps SO MUCH to be able to start rehearsal on time. Thank you for dropping off your sons and daughters by 8:45!

With just three rehearsals between now and our Popejoy weekend, practicing becomes a higher priority! The majority of our JO members are playing very well! Today, however, we discovered that a number of students are lagging behind. Hopefully they know who they are. The solution is simple: practice more and ask for help, if needed. In this situation, we hope students will ask their school teachers and/or private teachers for help! As always, we are available before rehearsal to give anyone extra help.

Students: BRING A PENCIL with your instrument and music! Especially, make sure you have YOUR music and folder with you at rehearsal!

With the Popejoy concert so close, be sure to spend an average of 30 minutes a day practicing your JO music. There are only three rehearsals between now and the Popejoy weekend. Today, we took time to identify specific excerpts to practice. Every piece has places for you to be sure to work on! 


1. Slavonic Legend:  Practice with a metronome!  Quarter note = 112.

* The first part of this piece is in a minor key and at #80 it becomes major!  Use your ear as you practice this piece.  Strings – make sure all your B flats are low and your F’s are natural unless changed by an accidental.  At #80 – the key change occurs and the F’s become sharp and the C’s become sharp.  Take a pencil and make notes for yourself as reminders for any part that you have trouble with (i.e. circle a dynamic that you keep forgetting, or put a sharp, flat or natural sign on notes that you keep forgetting the key signature on).  

* Work on playing with a good, big and energetic sound on the forte passages.  

* Work on any section that you are still having problems with.

2.       English Fugue:   Practice carefully with the metronome marking:  Quarter note – 88

* Practice this piece in sections, making sure that you are absolutely with the metronome!  It will help if you play the rhythms on one note with the metronome like we did in rehearsal.  When you can play the rhythms perfectly with the metronome, with no rushing or slowing down, then add the notes.

* Practice with a good sound!  Bow speed and air flow is important at the beginning of the note. 

* All eighth notes should be played short, including the ones following a dotted quarter note.

3.       Cantabile:  Practice with metronome marking:  quarter note = 100.

* Practice all eighth note passages, keeping in mind they have to be played smoothly.

* Play with the best sound possible.

* Violin A:  Practice notes at #47!

4.       March to the Scaffold:  Practice only the spots that you are still having trouble with metronome marking:  quarter note = 108.

* Cellos & Basses – You are NOT playing in tune from #28 to #56.   Practice slowly and listen carefully.  Then speed up to metronome marking.  This is a very important section.  Please work on it!

5.       William Tell Overture:  It is very important that each student works with the metronome:  Quarter note =100.

* Practice very carefully in small sections any part that you cannot play perfectly.

* Coda to the end – Practice for dynamics

6.   Fireworks:  Metronome marking:  Quarter note = 116.

* Practice any spot you are still having problems with.

* Strings, go over #4 – 8 for intonation.

Winds, Brass and Percussion: at any given time, you are one to a part, maybe two on a part. Therefore, your parts are VERY exposed, almost like solos! Be sure to prepare thoroughly so every note can be heard and every rhythm and articulation is played correctly and at the proper tempo!

Be sure to practice carefully this week!

Mrs. Robertson and Mr. Austell


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Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program
4407 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110

PO Box 30961
Albuquerque, NM 87190