Rehearsal Report #5 – 2/11/2024

Portland Megaband 2024
Rehearsal Report #5
February 11, 2024


  • T-shirt orders will go out tomorrow, so order today. By the time you read this, it’s too late. Payment will be made later once it’s decided what the cost will be.
  • Accesorizing. The various accessories you’ve seen some band members sporting are not part of a secret club, anyone can participate, and if it would be fun for you please do. Contact Sharon Allen, Patricia Donohue, or Kathy Story for more information about their recommendations, or come up with your own ideas. Please do not bring anything on stage that will disrupt any part of the music or that can’t easily fit under your chair.
  • Seating requests are to be made using the sheet at the back of the rehearsal hall. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up, email Sue with your preferences.
  • Bar-stool seating on the stageforgot to mention at the rehearsal. If you preferenced seating on the stage, you can sit on a bar stool that will raise you above the first couple of rows on the stage and give you better visibility. Footstools will provide support for your feet. Let Sue know if you would like to sit on a bar stool and also if you do not want to sit on one.
  • Light on the stage is an unknown entity since we’ll be arranged differently from years past. If in doubt, bring a battery-operated stand light to help with that. Generally, the light out on the floor, where much of the band will be seated, is pretty good.
  • Parking at the gig: There is a parking structure across the street with a skywalk to the hall. However, the doors into Smith are locked from the inside. So, if you park in the structure, you’ll need to get to street level and enter Smith down there.  Leaving, however, you can get out the doors to the skywalk and get back to your car that way. Tom is working on getting a reduced parking rate for us.
  • After party. Lori Shaffer has procured The Rose City Book Pub in NE Portland for our after party: All band members and their guests (partners, people you are hosting from out-of-town) are encouraged to attend and enjoy after the dance. The cost per person is $10 for a wide array of salads and sandwiches. Buy your own drinks. Please sign up on Lori’s list as an RSVP so the venue can prep adequately.

A word about Janet Goulston
Janet has been a Megaband member since the first time we played in 1996. She is now in an advanced stage of cancer, and to make matters worse, a huge tree fell on her house during the ice storm, and she may have to move out during the repairs. Her adult daughters are both living with her and managing her care. If you would like to get more updates, you can find Janet on CaringBridge. She loves cards and email even though she isn’t always able to respond. If you would like to know how to get in touch with her, email me for the specifics.

Covid Test Kits Needed
If any of you have some tests to spare, some of our band members could use them. Please bring them to the next rehearsal and put them on the table by the door. Thank you!

Harmony Updates
The most recent versions of the waltz harmonies are attached here (and available here on the website) as is the 4-part Wellerman’s harmony. They will also be posted on the website. If your waltz harmonies have the chords on them, they are the most recent versions. I’ve also included notation for War Hent played 8vb.

Notation for some endings and the Variations is coming.
We worked on a couple of new variations in the horn sectionals and also figured out how we will end Vladimir’sthe last contra dance tune of the evening. I’ll send that notation before the next rehearsal. Watch for it!

Here are the notes on the music. In most cases, only updates to previous information are listed.

Ain’t Broke / Old Time Son / Goat Groove
Goat Groove Variation: In the B part, melody, play the first two bars and the D in the third bar (pop off of it), then percussion bang away for the next two bars. Then the same thing for bars B5-8.  Call/response through both B parts. Notation for the variation and the ending is coming.

Ending: Forget the earlier ending we worked on during rehearsal. Instead, we will end like this: Bar B7, quarter note D, quarter rest, quarter note D, then the eighth note pickups into bar B8. Play B8 as written and hold out the Am at the end. Backups play block chords in B7, nothing on the first beat of B8, and then land on the final Am chord.

Louis Cyr / Reel Béloeil
No new information. Start practicing this set to speed since it will be the first one we play, and we want to set a good tempo right away.

Lounge Bar / Rakers
At the switch, don’t leave a big hole at the end of Lounge Bar, just a tiny lift so you can land on the D at the top of Rakers with confidence.

Variation in Lounge Bar: A part Flutes. B part Fiddles, C part Flutes and Plectra, D part everyone. Only mic’d backups during the A, B and C parts, then all backups on the D part.  Backups, play crisply.

Rakers: There are harmonies written. We went over who’s going to play which harmonies. Hope you remember what you committed to play.

One thing we’ll do in Rakers is start an iteration quiet, and slowly get louder through the tune until we’re all playing fully by the end of the tune.  Then remember to play out at the top of the next time through. This’ll be a variation signaled by the conductor.

Wellerman / War Hent / Screech Owl
Getting into War Hent, mic’d backups play drones for the A parts, then go to regular backup on the B parts.

On Wellerman, when folks are singing, mic’d backups only.

Singers, learn the words so that the singing doesn’t slow the whole thing down. And enunciate clearly so it does’t sound like mush. If you want to yell out “Hey” at the end of phrases, feel free.  Or “Hay”. That works too.  Or “Heigh”. Whatever. Sue’s gonna yell out “Rum”, but that’s how she rolls.

William Blake / Live Oak / William Blake

Pay attention to the syncopation in measure A5 (the first measure on the second line). The A note is played ahead of the beat, not on the beat. This is different than the way it is played on the practice recording.  This rhythm as notated matches the rhythms in measures B1 and B4.

Ending: Play through to the last bar, then just play two D notes and hold out the last one.

Lament for Farmers’ Market
Gordy will indicate the beat in one beat per bar rather than two.  This will give us the tendency to drag, so be aware of that.  Watch for a ritard at the end.

NWP Waltz
Look for an update to the low harmony in your email.

Probably this order:

  1. Fiddles only on A part, then everyone on B part.
  2. Non-fiddles only on A part, then everyone on B part.
  3. Fiddles only with high harmony on A part then high and low harmony on B part.
  4. All play with high and low harmonies.