Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday is "Moving Day"

Today is Saturday at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp and that can only mean one thing for the Intermediate Concert Orchestra. Today is MOVING DAY.

So, you must be wondering what I mean by "Moving Day." No, we are not moving to a new rehearsal space. No, I am not moving to a different orchestra. And, no, we are not going to rehearse while walking around campus. While all of these sound interesting and fun, moving day has a completely different meaning for me and this ensemble.  Moving Day actually has three meanings.

First, Saturday always feels like a bonus rehearsal day to me. We have put in a full week and Saturday seems like it ought to be part of the weekend. While that is the case in many places, it is not the case at Interlochen. Saturday is a regular rehearsal and class day, so I always feel like this 2 hour 50 minute rehearsal is bonus. It is an opportunity to make a significant move in our preparation for our upcoming concert.  And, I always feel like we make strides that are over and above my expectations.  Thus, Saturday at Interlochen is always "moving day" in my mind.

Second, I always try to focus on physical movement during Saturday's rehearsal . We will work on visual and physical cues within sections and throughout the orchestra. We will work on showing a physical representation of pulse and beat preparation, especially for, but not limited to, entrances. We will work for each member of the ensemble to play with a physicality that expresses the character of the music and offers a richer ensemble experience for each member of the orchestra and the audience.

Third, Moving Day represents a focus on movement of lines or the direction of melodic material in the repertoire. We will work hard to find the inner dynamic direction of every phrase in our repertoire. Students will be encouraged to see how lines that are ascending frequently need to grow in dynamic level and descending lines often dissipate in dynamic level. Those of you that know my teaching, know that I often refer to lines with the designation approach, arrive, or depart. That concept will be a big part of today's rehearsal.

And so, today is "Moving Day."   I look forward to seeing the kids and celebrating the end of Week 1 of camp.  It has been a good week!


(PS: Earlier this week, I asked the students to consider what inspires them when they hear a great orchestra.  And, how do we achieve that same effect.  I haven't really had time to follow up on that discussion.  It will certainly be part of today's rehearsal as well.  I will let you know what I learn!)

1 comment:

  1. Quick post-rehearsal update: What a great rehearsal! We spent the first hour on Water Reflections by Yukiko Nishimura. we added our pianist today and really worked the piece. One could truly feel the movement of musical line by the end of the hour. We then tore apart the first movement of the Mendelssohn Sinfonia phrase by phrase, finding direction of line and adding real life to the work. We ended with a review of Heart of Fire from yesterday. The kids were great and really focused today. In all, today we took the first steps toward becoming an expressive ensemble by any standards. Success on Moving Day!!