Monday, April 11, 2005

These Guys Are Good!

Not just the guys on the PGA Tour either. I mean all these folks at the Brigadiers this season. I am in my 5th season with the corps and this by and large is probably the most talented and motivated groups of people we have had. It is very similar to the corps we put together back in 2002 except I would venture to say the talent from top to bottom is better overall. There are simply no weaknesses this year from a playing standpoint.

Even Gino was impressed by where we are at this point in the season. He is also in his 5th season working with us. I have marched under Gino for 7 years and he does not pay you any positive comments unless you deserve them. You could tell he was excited to be in front of us working with the ensemble. Once you get him going he goes 100 mph and doesn’t stop until the day is over. This really helped us push through a very demanding and challenging rehearsal on Saturday night.

We put the finishing touches on our brass technique program for the season this weekend also. The technique really helps us to progress and challenges us to get better. It is a big part of what we do and is responsible for taking our clarity and intonation to the next level. We work very hard at technique so that we can better ourselves each and every rehearsal. You can tell that many of our members put in this technique time in between camps as well. It shows, especially given the fact that we have taken the past month off.

We also detailed many small sections of the show as well. Rather then running through things for the sake of getting the book done, we really broke things down so that we learn things the proper way. This prevents us from practicing mistakes. Work smarter not harder. This is the best philosophy out there. We have a long way to go until the first show. We are less interested in the amount of reps and more interested in the quality of reps we are putting in.

Now me personally, I am having a blast. The contra line is going to be very strong this year. Once we all get accustomed to playing the book it is going to be down right scary. I am also very please with the sound of the baritone section. Usually our baritone section shows up sometime in late August. This year they are working to be good, and are already showing vast improvement from a year ago. The high brass seems very solid as well. We have a great balance right now from top to bottom in terms of our overall sound. You can hear every voice contributing equally.

I am anxious to start the learning process again in terms of the drill. I want to see how the show is going to be programmed to maximize the effect of this music. The charts are an absolute blast to play, especially Round Midnight, which is the centerpiece of our show. This chart flat out rocks! I can’t wait until we start kicking it in the ass during a performance. The closer is shaping up to be on hell of a piece too. They are writing the drum solo right now and also the ending of the show. Our ending the past couple of years have been good, and this will no doubt be another fun and exciting ending to play.

Well that is all I have for now. I am still kind of wiped out from this long weekend! I’m out…

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