w.b. 17th Dec
Joshua died on Monday. I still played two concerts that day, and even turned up (albeit late) for a seminar which was then rescheduled due to low turn-out. At times like this I find it easiest to focus my mind purely on music and let nothing else filter in, which may or may not have a good effect on my playing. It was very reminiscent of the concert we played after the death of my uncle in that respect.
Personal practice above two hour mark, excluding day of two BB concerts and day of carolling.
Brass band concerts went okay. I played the Christmas music better than in the previous two, although there were still some slips. Leeds Town Hall is an inspiring venue, much more obviously a concert hall than those of Dewsbury and Huddersfield due to the lighting and size/acoustic of the venue. I felt a little more alone & exposed onstage, which creates excitement, which tends to make me play better.
Carolling for over five hours was an interesting experience as it was very cold and I was playing the melody throughout - no chance for a break. Our group consisted of one trombone, one bass and one euphonium, which was a lovely sound. A few people commented on that, always positively :) and I gradually learned that the others would follow me really easily, it didn't take a lot of effort either to lead or to just play with them. I also got very confused by repeats and dal segnos. With such a small ensemble though, we quickly learned what the others meant when we simply looked at each other. It helped that Benn and Tony have played together before, and that me and Benn play together in uni, as we recognised ways of moving, lengths of breaths etc indicating what was about to happen. Except towards the end, when we were freezing and losing our lips. We made over £100 though.
In lesson on Monday D was impressed by my work on partita and hartley. We talked about studies; I'm starting one from the Mead book, despite D not having heard me play the latest Arban one this week. I also did a little sight-reading, in which I got the hard bits right and the easy bits wrong - so carolling was good practice :)
In other news, the marimba practice I've been doing lately has freed up a lot of tension in my left arm, making it less slow and unco-ordinated. Also Paul Wade thinks I have a lovely voice but need to ground myself better. He's given me vocal exercises that I will probably use as warm-ups should I find time to practice singing regularly.