Small Ensembles

With Orchestra Toronto comes the opportunity to play some small ensemble stuff. We’ve got a brass quintet together to play for the Toronto Centre for the Arts‘ open house tomorrow. It a short set but fun nonetheless. But I’m really looking forward to the posh fundraising evening going on at the beginning of November. The quintet will play again, with a longer program, but I’m also doing some duets with the orchestra’s piccolo player, Nancy Nourse. We’ve had a practice together and the music is good. Some Mozart duets, some baroque movements and a modern piece expressly for picc and tuba. Honestly, that one isn’t my fave. Too much solo playing for each of us and not enough duetting.
This playing and practicing is giving me another chance to hone my tuning and blending. When I played in Brassfully Yours a number of years back, it did wonders for these skills. I finally knew what it ‘felt’ like to play in tune. For me, it’s much more than hearing. Since I’m hugging my tuba, hitting the sweet spot for a long note in tune makes the whole tuba resonate and I feel that happening from head to toe.
I would recommend extensive quintet playing for any and all tubists.

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