September 21, 2019

Congratulations, orchestra!  

You are sounding more and more confident, and Ms. Brasher and I are so pleased with your recent progress on our material.  NOW is when it really starts to get fun, and our informal "vote-for-your-favorite" piece was interesting!  I wonder how that might change between now and December.... but, on to our REHEARSAL NOTES: read 'em and heed 'em!


More that giving you specific notes on each piece, except in a few special cases with some VERY challenging parts as well as some sections that might need some individual  and personal attention sooner rather than later, I need to remind everyone to PLAY THE MUSIC!  Right now we are much improved on our notes and rhythms, and even counting during our rests, but boy are the dynamics getting the best of us as musicians.... the arrangers and composers would say, "Well, they've got a great start to playing my work correctly, but what are they SAYING?"  That is so true, cutting directly to the heart of our task as musicians.  We have to bring this music to life, and unless we're playing some minimalist Steve Reich (look him up, people) we will never be able to express the correct intent without dynamic contrast.

I mentioned it in rehearsal before, but remember to push yourself individually to play better each and every day.  Take UNM jazz professor Glenn Kostur's personal practice goal of carving out time to practice playing louder and softer than the day before, and add that flexibility and control to your musical toolbox.  That way you can make your parts even more exciting, more dramatic, and especially more beautiful than the day before.

I asked everyone in the orchestra to practice playing SOFTLY (softly) this week, since right now we excell at playing loud, pretty much all the time.... Nice start, but EVERYONE has to play softly in order for the dynamics to "read" out front, so it's a team effort in playing soft and drawing the audience to the edge of their seats in anticipation and curiosity.

At rehearsal on Saturday, we expect everyone to play the marked dynamics.  We will start there, but as we play you should evaluate your parts to see if you have an important feature or some background-type of music, and adjust accordingly.  EXPECT MS. BRASHER AND MR. CORBIN TO STOP REHEARSAL COMPLETELY IF THE DYNAMICS ARE BEING PERFORMED INCORRECTLY!!!!\

We hope you have a terrific week, get lots of soft practice done, and continue to be leaders in your school!

Finally, remember that we're looking to add a stereo to Robertson Hall so Junior Orchestra and Youth Symphony can listen to great musical examples too.  Let Mr. Corbin know if you have questions about if some dusty unit out in your garage might work for our needs or if you need him to come pick it up.  Email at or text/call 505-417-1876.

Ms. Brasher and Mr. Corbin


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

PO Box 30961
Albuquerque, NM 87190