We had a productive practice on Monday night, split between our two forthcoming October events; Oktoberfest at the Rose & Crown on 20th and the Manea Methodist church Harvest Festival on the 21st.
If you missed Oktoberfest last year, this year promises to be bigger and better, so if you like German beer, German oom-pah music, German dress, German sausages or just fancy a good evening at the pub, be there!
From a practice point of view, the music isn't as easy to play as it seems. A lot of the music in our "German folders" was arranged for the band by David Wilson, who reformed the band in the 1980s. Therefore, it's one of those things that everyone assumes they know because it's been around so long.
However, we've discovered on previous occasions that it's a little more intricate than we may have assumed, so we're having a proper look through the folders beforehand to find out what works and what doesn't, and we now have a fairly good selection of waltzes, polkas and marches prepared. This should also give us to practice the actions to some of them - if you want to see those, 20th October, Manea Rose & Crown!
If that's not quite your cup of tea, all is now safely gathered in at Manea, and we're playing at the annual Harvest Festival on the 21st October at the Methodist Chapel. In addition to the hymns, we're playing a little selection of pieces for the congregation.
One of them, an arrangement of Joyce Eilers Bacak's Irish Blessing is a particular favourite of mine. The band haven't played it for many years, but when we got it out of our library a few months ago, I was really impressed by how the whole band came together and made an excellent job of it first time through. The opening is a lovely quartet, which really suits our band.
We've recently started to encourage our junior band players to come along to the start of the senior band rehearsal, and this piece, being within an acceptable note range and tempo for our less experienced players, has allowed them to join in with at the start of the rehearsals with something that's both challenging, but not overly intimidating. It works really well, so I do hope you can come along and hear us play it on the 21st.