Rehearsal Report #4 – 2/4/2024

Portland Megaband 2024
Rehearsal Report #4
February 4, 2024

Announcements and Updates

T-shirts: Samples are in the back for choosing colors. Women’s sizes tend to run small. Sample of the design is there as well. Look for another email with the final design (Some rum is being incorporated in honor of Wellerman), the ordering schedule, and information about prices.

After party: Lori will once again plan the after party. Finding a venue that will accommodate us is not a simple taskLori has been pounding the pavement on our behalf. Yay Lori! A few others have volunteers to help. If you’d like to help, email Sue.

Seating preferences at the dance: You will have assigned seats at the dance. At the next rehearsal, there will be sheets on the table in the back where you can tell us your seating preferences. We do our best to place you where you would like to be. The staging will be different than in past years at Smith. The first 2 or 3 rows will be on the floor at the same level as the dancers. There will be two rows of band members on risers, 24” above floor level. There will be four or five rows of b and members on the stage, which is about 18” higher than the riser level. The stage will have some bar stools for further elevation. If you want to stand while you play, you should preference the stage and indicate that you are planning on standing. You may preference who you would like to sit next to or near and whether you would like to be on the edge or in the middle of the band. Be sure to let me know if you are planning on sharing a music stand with anyone to ensure that you are sitting together. (We do encourage stand sharing to save space on the stage.)

Buttons: You will each have a button to wear at the dance. This shows the admissions folk that you are a part of the band and do not need to pay admission. Anne Heimlich will stamp out the buttons for us once again. Thank you, Anne!

Advance admission: Lanny will manage advance admission purchases during the break or after rehearsals. You won’t get a ticket; names will be recorded and admitted at the dance. If you are paying with cash, please bring exact change.

Roster: An updated roster is attached. This one has corrected mistakes in the earlier version.

Covid tests: Email me if you need more Covid tests to see you through the rehearsals and the dance.

Harmonies: The waltz harmonies were attached to an email last week and are posted on the website now. The rest of the harmonies will be posted this week. I will send another message with the list of harmonies later this week.

Horn sectional:  Melody players are needed for the horn sectional next Monday at 4:00 in SE Portland. Contact me if you are able to play.

Dance time change. The dance on March 9th will be 15 minutes earlier than in the past with the teaching session at 6:45 and dance starting at 7:15. Dance done at 10:30. More information directly pertaining to the gig will be discussed at a later rehearsal.

Next Rehearsal
February 11th; Rehearsal #5: 1:00 – 3:00 pm:

Ain’t Broke / Old Time Son / Goat Groove
Louis Cyr / Reel Béloeil
Lounge Bar, Da (play ABCD) / The Rakers
Wellerman / War Hent Kerrigouarch / Screech Owl Reel
William Blake’s Dead / Live Oak / William Blake’s Dead

Couples’ Dances
Lament for the Farmers Market
Northwest Passage Waltz
Martin O’Connor’s
Socar es Sert

Notes on the Music

Rabbit Reel / Le Paresseux / Les Mains Blanches
The “X” over those E notes in Rabbit mean the only sound right there should be the fiddles plucking their E string as pizzicato. Others, do not play on those Xs so you don’t mess with the plucking fiddle players. Dampen strings and really lift of at those spots so you don’t become a plucker as well.  Fiddles, go ahead and just pluck it right on the Xs. Backup, play a D on the first downbeat after the pluck.

More about Rabbit Reel…don’t make it legato. Make it happy and lifty and lilty.

Rabbit to Le P: Pop off the G, leave a tiny hole, and land on Le P.

Le P to Les M: Cut that D half note short, leave a tiny hole and land on Les M.

Ending: Last measure, play D quarter, F# quarter, then D half and hold out.

Virginia Reel / Brendan McMahon’s / Reel of Sceachog
This set should be smooth and pretty as much as you can make it so.  Remember to make it swingy.

Backups; in Sceachog, bar B3, if you can’t get off that A on the last offbeat in time to play the D on B4, rest rather than playing the A chord, and land on the D on B4.

Virginia to Brendan: Change the last bar to land on an E after those first four eighth notes. Lift off the E into Brendan. Keep the off-beat in that last measure.

Brendan to Sceachog: Use the appended bar written into the music at the switch. No pickups first time through Sceachog. Backups sustain offbeats through the switch.

Ending: Last bar, play a B, lift off, land on the A. Block chords.

Wellerman / War Hent Kerrigouarch / Screech Owl
On Screech Owl, backups, if you can’t do that Eb, just don’t play that chord. Leave a rest in that spot.

Wellerman singing: The fifth time through, there will be singing on the B parts. This will be signaled with the Variation sign. On that time through, play the A parts, then mic’d backups only on the B parts to accompany the songsters. Everyone (including mic’d backups) who can sing, please do.  Note that the singing melody is slightly different from the melody when we are playing. There are 3 attachments pertaining to Wellerman—the lyrics, vocal parts by Betsy in case the range of the melody doesn’t work for you or you would like to sing a harmony part, and a sound file playing the B part at the speed you will be singing. It will be good to practice singing at this speed.

Wellerman to War: Last bar, two half note Es, then flutes/whistles, mic’d backup, percussion as described above.

Starting War Hent, just mic’ backups droning and percussion and flutes/whistles. Melody plectra join on the B part. Last two bars of the first time through, backups go to the boom-chuck. Everyone in the second time through. Note: we need to work on the drones to make sure they aren’t dragging.

War to Screech: Lift off the A in the last bar, then into Screech. Pretty simple.

Ending: There’s a coda written into the music. Make those quarter notes crisp on the coda. And the ending should be choked. After those four descending quarter notes, land on the D staccato and the silence.

Lament for Farmers’ Market
Please be sure to play the pickup notes with confidence after Lisas four-bar intro. Let the tune swell up to the F in bar B4. Use your dynamics to achieve that. There are two harmony parts for this waltz.

Northwest Passage Waltz
Nothing to report…sounds beautiful. Thank you, John Mulooly for being part of the committee writing this waltz last September. There are two harmony parts for this waltz.

Martin O’Connor’s
No arrangements. Choke the ending.

Socar es Sert
Betsy will lead off two bars of intro. There are two harmony parts for the schottische.