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The four pieces we have been working on so far are Sea Songs, Tales of Vandosar, Gershwin in Concert, and Finlandia, all of which keep getting better and better at each rehearsal. We will be taking next week off in recognition of Labor Day and we will reconvene on September 7th. Rehearsal will start with sectionals so unpack in your sectional room. Come with your music prepared and with questions to ask your section coach. Difficult passages that you or maybe your group might be having trouble with should be marked so they can be brought up during this time.
During warm-up, be sure to include the A flat major scale and any rhythms that you may be having difficulty with.
Although this piece will go relatively fast (112 bpm) it should be practiced somewhere around 80
One of the challenging things about this piece, since it is still relatively new, are the repeats and the D.C.
Tales of Vandosar
The primary rhythm that we worked on
Any sixteenth note runs must be practiced slowly with the goal of playing each note evenly and arriving on the beat. For example, woodwinds have it at measure 23 among other places, and violin I has a sixteenth note pick up into measure 42.
Double check that you are playing all the pitches correctly and in tune, especially when you or your section has the melody or the part is in a high register. For example, the cello section needs to look at the section starting at pick up into measure 100, violin I- the section starting at 108, and flute I in the section starting
As with all pieces, be sure to listen to an entire recording of Finlandia (part of which we did in rehearsal with our new stereo system!!) The epic introduction is created by the intense dynamic changes mixed with brief periods of silence. When the piece changes tempo at Allegro Moderato (at letter D) the first eighth notes of the trumpets, trombones and bassoon introduces the rhythmic pattern that will occur all throughout the rest of the piece. If you have that or something similar in your music, practice the rhythm alone then add notes.
Upper strings- two after letter E is a challenging part if it is not practiced in small chunks. In rehearsal, you were asked to play only the notes that fall on a beat, now at home, practicing slowly, add the notes on the beat and the “and”. So now you are playing an eighth note rhythm. Once the pitches are accurate, add the rest of the notes, then gradually increase the tempo.
Another rhythmically interesting part is the syncopated section which first appears
George Gershwin in Concert
There are four famous melodies that are featured in this piece. The first melody is from Rhapsody in Blue, the second is from a song called “I Got Rhythm”, the third is another song called “To Watch Over Me”, and the final melody brings us back to Rhapsody in Blue. To get an idea of how these sound, listen to each one and pick out the places in your music that you have the melody. Counting out the rhythms is
A flat major is the primary key in Finlandia. String players need to seek advice for fingerings from your private lesson teacher or your orchestra director. Here are some scale books that you may want to add to
Enjoy your Saturday off and the three-day weekend!
Ms. Brasher and Mr. Corbin
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