Pines of Rome

I mentioned a long time ago that I share conducting duties in the Highlands Wind Symphony. This year, for my pieces, which mostly lean towards classical transcriptions, I’ve got Mars and Pines of Rome: The Appian Way. The latter is a complete bar-for-bar transcription (with just a little simplification in the alto sax solo, which is the English horn in the real thing).
In the past, I’ve gotten by conduction on general knowledge of a piece and they’ve been pretty straight-forward. The Appian Way though is deep. So many layers. The biggest challenge I need to overcome is how to interpret the page or two in fortissimo, yet still allowing the counterpoint to shine through and therefore keeping the piece meaningful. It’s going to take some score study to be sure and listening to various recordings. But I think I should seek out some advice from conducting friends and colleagues of mine. I’m excited for the learning opportunity I have here.

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Yesterday’s HWS/HSB rehearsal

Highlands Wind Symphony and Highlands Swing Band.

Glen is on vacation, for Lorrie and I did the conducting.  I had a fantastic time yesterday. First off, I warmed up at home and practiced some of the Ralph Vaughan-Williams.  I’m loving returning to the first movement.  I can tell I’m sounding better than last year — I played that movement for auditions at the GGS (glen gould school) and UofT.  I’m also working on the second movement.  My goal is to play this with Orchestra Toronto in the next few seasons.

I considered using the term “some day” in that sentence.  But I don’t think that’s positive enough.  It’s not defined enough.  Like, I want to lose weight some day.  Do it now, dammit!  So I’m working on the concerto.  And I’m going to get lessons on it.  I’m going to perform it along with piano accompaniment.

And now I’m completely off-topic.

The rehearsal yesterday… I really enjoyed the conducting.  There are on and there are off days.  Yesterday, was definitely an ‘on’ day.  I think the ensemble really enjoyed it too. We made some really good breakthroughs in the Hounds of Spring.  I love that piece (and much of the band does too).  So many beautiful spots in it.  And I was surprised [sorta] that they voted the Shostakovich over the Bizet.  Both are dances.  Both have lots of repeat signs.  But the Bizet (Farandole from L’Arlesienne) is a tad more repetitive and layered (and loud!).  The Shostakovich (Folk Dances) has got some interesting fun stuff in it. Harmonies the band isn’t used to, I’m sure, being it Shostakovich.

Finally, swing band was nice too.  We read a few pieces from the books.  Most were fun. And a few were excellent.  I should see if I can get a solo in there for myself sometime. The swing band performed at the opening ceremony of Winterfest in Haliburton – the Seniors Winter Games.  It was a fantastic performance.  The HSB is a tight little group once we get the parts practiced.  And playing the bass line on tuba has done wonders for my C tuba playing.  It’s just a series of arpeggio exercises.  Love it!

So we’ll see what next week brings at the HWS – Lorrie is going to see about switching out that awful television mash-up piece for either one of mine or something from her own library.  I’m certainly looking forward to that!

Pedal C

Today is the birth of ‘Pedal C’ — the life and times of a thirty-something tubist on a journey to going pro.

My name is Dan Manley — I live in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada – more-or-less 2.5 hours driving North East of Toronto.  My day job [for now] is in computer programming.  I’ve been doing it for a number of years.  Since I was around 19 y/o.  I left a music degree program at the University of Ottawa for it.  I was broke and scared at the time.  More on this later, I’m sure — I don’t want to give it all away in one blog post, and in the first one, no less.

Here are the quick Coles’ notes on where I’m at here…  I auditioned a year ago at UofT and the GGS (Glen Gould School in Toronto).  I didn’t get the GGS (10 of us auditioned for 1 spot).  But I did get advanced standing to second year of a performance degree at UofT!!  Fantastic!  🙂  but… the Highlands Brass Academy (a brass summer workshop that I created) distracted me too much to prepare for entry in Fall 2010.  So I asked for a deferral to Fall 2011 and got approved.

I play with Orchestra Toronto — under the direction of Maestra Danielle Lisboa.  I’ve been with the orchestra for a number of years now.  umm…. 7 years maybe.  I’ll have to verify that.  It’s a great orchestra and we do a lot of great rep.  And I’m really loving it this year because low brass have got their game going on.  We’ve been consistently meeting an hour before rehearsal to work on our stuff together.  We sound great.

I also play with the Highlands Wind Symphony and the Highlands Swing Band, out of Haliburton.  I share conducting duties along with 2 others and I’m really enjoying this.  It’s really helping me grow as a musician.  It also helps because I want to pursue conducting in university too.

I think that’s a good enough first post.  Now back to my day job.