Rehearsal Report #3 (Jan 29, 2023)

Portland Megaband 2023
Rehearsal Report #3
January 29, 2023

Announcements:

  • Advance admission is starting. Talk to Lanny Martin if you’d like to purchase admission for family/friends.  Take care of that prior to rehearsals if possible because we need to leave quickly at 3:00.  $15-30 sliding scale.  You can also take care of that online at portlandmegaband.com.
  • You can also join PCDC and become eligible for grants to attend music/dance workshops. See Jon Neff about PCDC memberships.
  • We have fliers for the gig. Take some and put them up wherever you’d like.
  • We have a supply of Covid tests, so we don’t need any more.
  • T-shirts are well-under way. Be ready to place your orders at next week’s rehearsal.  Sue will send out a pdf so you can see the design.

General musical comment that came up today: At switches, it is more important to land on the new tune strongly and clearly than to play the end of the last tune well.  If you have trouble with switches, aim for the new tune and sacrifice the end of the previous tune if necessary.

Griffenfeldt / Carpathian Tune / The Wren
On Griffenfeldt, watch those descending Bb notes.  And careful of the tied notes and jumped beats.  Make the most of them.

Variations during the Wren

Because we are playing for a dance, we won’t know how many times through we will play this tune. It could be five times; it could be six or seven. So watch the conductor carefully. It is possible that the bombarde will come in during this early phase. When Variation is signaled, we will then begin on the order that we rehearsed. In the Variation phase…

  • time, some melody players just play sustained chord notes. Not everyone; we need melody line. Signal will be low harmony.
  • time, arpeggios with sustained low notes. Signal will be high and low harmonies.
  • time, bombarde plays with melody underneath. No sustained low notes or arpeggios. Signal will be no harmony.
  • time everything plays including arpeggios and sustained low notes. Signal will be high and low harmonies.

Switches:

Griff to Carp: Pop off the last G note and land on Carp.

Carp to Wren: Play that last A as a half note and clip it off, then during the remaining half note duration I the bar, slide up from an A to a B to start The Wren.

Ending: Play the last measure as written—hold out the last B note and Bm chord.

Rabbit Reel / Le Paresseux / Les Mains Blanches # 3
On the Rabbit Reel, play the chords as written, not as they are on the practice recording.  After careful deliberation, the decision was made to slightly change the chords that Sue was playing when we recorded.

A variation in the Rabbit Reel will be to leave silence on those notes where those pluckers normally pluck.  Everything else including off-beats remains the same.

Switches:

Rabbit to Paresseux: Clip off the last G quarter note and land confidently on Paresseux.

Paresseux to Blanches: Lift off that D half note, leave a breath.

Ending: Last bar, quarter note D, quarter note F#, land on the D and hold it.

Virginia Reel / Brendan McMahon’s / The Reel of Sceachóg (Siobhan O’Donnell’s)
This set is intended to be a beautiful set, but it still needs swing.  Dot those eighth notes.

On Brendan, don’t necessarily play the rocking eighth notes in bars A2, A6, B2 and B6. Some melody players can hold the A note all the way through those measures to smooth these sections out.

Switches:

Virginia to Brendan: Last bar – first four eighth notes as written, then land on an E (skipping the B and E eighth notes).

Brendan to Scheaghochxique: Play the alternate measure rather than the B2 ending measure, then no pickups into Sche… the first time.

Ending: Last measure, just play a B, leave a hole, then end on the A.  Block chords from the backups (E and A).

Wagoner One Step / Don’t Be Jumpin’ to No Conclusions / The J and K Rag
Make sure you’re using the version from 1/16/23.

Use lots of swing throughout the set.  This is a swingy set.

On J&K, don’t let it drag.

Switches:

Wagoner to Jumpin’:  Play B8 as written and pop off the last note to leave a breath before Jumpin’.

Jumpin’ to J&K: Pop off the last E half note and leave a breath there too.  No pickups into J&K first time through.

Ending:  Everyone play that last measure, choke it off and everyone play–a tag note for melody (C, E, or G will work) and C chord for back up.