Area Brass Semiar – 11/29/12

4 thoughts on “Area Brass Semiar – 11/29/12”

  1. Professor Manning’s Comments:

    Old Capitol Brass Quintet:
    Overall, I thought it was a good performance, but perhaps not your best. It seemed like pitch and energy were a bit off for the first few movements. The first movement in particular sounded a bit more hesitant than I am used to hearing from this group. The second movement was strong, with a few personal concentration slips. The mood of the third movement was excellent, but the steadiness of the opening pulse and the low brass being together is critical. Be sure to listen and look at crucial times. The final movement had fantastic energy, but tone and control problems occurred at the end. Keep in mind, since I coach you each week that I know how much progress you have made as a group and I might be more critical than the average listener. That said, be sure to keep your wits about you and your focus solid as you begin any performance. This is a fantastically talented group, I am very proud of all of you.

    Half Plaid Quartet:
    This group has excellent potential. You are all very talented and play well together. I would suggest, as was mentioned, to close in. The top and bottom voices of the group are not moving together, and some releases and pitch may improve just due to this adjustment. Remember to create musical lines in your phrases, sometimes the eighth note lines sounded “chuggy”.

    Jiffani Dill:
    Nice dotted figures, but some of the ascending skills were messy. Make sure to carefully tune the chords at the end of sections, especially before the slow passage. Tubas, be sure to wait for Danny’s solo line, even if it is slightly delayed. Danny, try to learn to indicate when to cut off a note without disturbing your own pitch at the cutoff. Great last chord, this group has learned a lot in one semester and I enjoyed working with all of you.

    Meagan:
    (Rimsky) Make sure to be “set” before you launch into the first excerpt – it seemed like you jumped the gun. Be sure to differentiate the dotted figure from the following triplet rhythm. Make sure you can hear the woodwind melody (which you are backing up) clearly in your head to ensure the proper style and tempo. (Strauss) Good sound and style, but be sure to aggressively articulate the first three notes of the theme, rather that treat them in a lyrical style. The low section needs work. Try thinking about slower – yet “wider” air – in the low range. It works for low brass. (Shostakovich) Nice style and musicality! Let long notes ring a bit more. Good job overall, keep refining your approach. Excerpts are a life-long pursuit!

    Low Brass Section:
    (Verdi) Strive to create more “block-shapted” notes on quarters and half-notes (not tapered or swelled). In the second section, the quiet sixteenth notes were a bit unclear and some chords were out of tune. (Berlioz) Nice soft dynamic in first entrance, but a bit tentative sounding. Make sure the longer notes are held full value in the main theme. Good pitch and blend overall, nice work everyone!

    1. Although I articulated my comments on Thursday, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who performed and for taking the initiative to prepare and present your performances to all of us in the brass area! I really like what Professor Manning had to say after all the performances were finished on Thursday in regard to how we present ourselves as performers in front of an audience. The only way to really learn how to do this is to do it! Each time you take the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, you’re learning something new about yourself and developing ideas for combating nervousness, posture/body stance, confidence, expression, and eye contact, just to name a few. In the end, our goal as musicians is to effectively express our musical ideas to our listeners, and the only way to reach this goal is to take every opportunity to perform!

  2. Although I articulated my comments on Thursday, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all who performed and for taking the initiative to prepare and present your performances to all of us in the brass area! I really like what Professor Manning had to say after all the performances were finished on Thursday in regard to how we present ourselves as performers in front of an audience. The only way to really learn how to do this is to do it! Each time you take the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, you’re learning something new about yourself and developing ideas for combating nervousness, posture/body stance, confidence, expression, and eye contact, just to name a few. In the end, our goal as musicians is to effectively express our musical ideas to our listeners, and the only way to reach this goal is to take every opportunity to perform!

  3. Great job to everyone! Each group/individual was well prepared. My comments are from my notes; many of these points were alread articulated in seminar.

    1. Old Capitol Brass Quintet: 1st Movement: Horn intonation in the 1st movement. Great blend between trumpets. A few times the group didn’t move together as well as you should. Look up more; communicate. 2nd Movement: Should sound more effortless. It sounds quite labored. Go for the lilting feeling in early 20th century park bands (think Arthur Pryor). 3rd Movement: Intonation between horn and trombone need to be better. Release together. 4th Movement: Nice and nasty like this movement should be. Nice job, trombone.

    2. Half-Plaid Trombone Quartet: Keep working on matching articulations throughout. There needs to be more dynamic contrasts, especially on the softer side. Sometimes there is a little too much bass trombone. Listen for who has the melody – allow that voice to sit on top without requiring them to play louder.

    3. Jiffani Dill Quartet: You have a really nice group sound and a nice soloistic sound from the euphonium solos. Keep working on group intonation. Try to look at each other more. There were a couple moments that became loose; look up and communicate with each other.

    4. Meagan Conley. Scheherazade – The fast tongueing loses clarity and tone quality. Blow through more. Worry less about the tongue. Last section was great. Ein Heldenleben – Stay long with the tongue. Let the air do the work. When you play long you sound fantastic. When you shorten up (and use less air support), the sounds becomes a little more brittle. Shostakovich Piano Concerto – Very lilting feel. Very appropriate for Shostakovich. Nice job!

    5. Trombone Excerpts Group. Nabucco – Very nice blend. Keep working to start together. There were a couple licks that rang right from the start, but many that didn’t. Allegro was better than in our last coaching. Good development. Hungarian March – Much better. Time is more solid. Intonation in the final section still has a couple issues. Be careful with the D’s in fourth position.

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