Wednesday 13 September 2023

One day one photo - 13: Back with my other band in Croydon

A few pieces we'll playing this term at Croydon Symphonic Band

Today was that "first day back at school" feeling as I went to the first rehearsal of the new academic year with my other band, Croydon Symphonic Band. The other band I play with, at Beckenham don't stop during the school holidays, unlike quite a few other bands. The Croydon band is among those who follow the same cycle as the academic year. 

So it was good to see the old faces, including our conductor, David Cox, after a few months. I had played my clarinet over the school holidays - practicing drills at home and also solo clarinet pieces in my own books. I enjoy doing those because in the bands I play in I am either second or third clarinet so often I am not playing the melody and I end up playing things that don't make much sense unless I have a backing track or am with the band. But when I play at home with my own books I am playing the tune, and that is good for the soul. 

Having said that, nothing beats being part of an ensemble or orchestra with the full range of sounds and instruments. That's what I like about playing in bands. I just need to be on my game so that I can play my part correctly. As a relative newbie to the band (as opposed to those who have been going for 30 years), most pieces I play from the band library are new to me, so the first rehearsal back ends up being hard, as it is full-on sight-reading. I must say though, that the pieces do look good, and I am looking forward to playing them well. I am particularly pleased to see a few Gershwin pieces. Fascinating Rhythm, American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue are cracking numbers. Just don't count on me to do that clarinet intro! 

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