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Location

Currently, the Fort Worth Symphonic Band rehearses at the Riverside Recreational Center located at 3700 E. Belknap (Mapsco 64J), Fort Worth, Texas. 

Riverside Rec Ctr Map

Time and Date

Rehearsals are held every Monday night  beginning at 7:00 pm and lasting until 9:00 pm. The concert season for the band begins in January and ends in December with  a break over the Christmas/New Year's period.

Music

Music is provided and organized by the Band Librarian. Since we perform 12 -15 concerts per year, this job is a monumental task as music is constantly changing, depending on the venue of the concert or the holiday. To help with this task, certain rules must be followed so we don't lose our librarian when he/she runs down the hall pulling  his/her hair out and then gets lost in the park after leaving the building, just because someone didn't follow the rules. I am pretty sure this is what happened to the last one.

The Box:

Each week the band brings a large, opaque box to rehearsal. Your music folder and the current week's rehearsal music should be in the box, provided you left your folder from the previous rehearsal. If you took your music home with you to practice, then bring it back. The band librarian or director will give you any extra music you might not have if you took the music home.

It is generally a better practice to return your folder to the box the dress rehearsal before each performance. While mildly humorous, this does keep the second-chair players from panicking should the first chair player get lost coming to the concert, becomes ill, or just not make it in time. Also, occasionally sneak a peak at the solos in the first part, particularly if you're sitting second chair...just in case.

Section Leaders, check with your section at the rehearsal prior to a concert to make sure who will be there, along with the music.

Etiquette

Our rehearsal area is not a full-sized rehearsal hall, so therefore the band has developed some practices to maintain our sanity and sanitation.

Talking:

Once the director, concert master, band officer, or whoever steps on the podium, all talking ceases. Each rehearsal will begin promptly at 7:00 pm with the Concert Master giving a tuning note.

This not only allows a band to become better disciplined and maximizes rehearsal time, it keeps your eyes from melting in their sockets because of the searing look you'll receive from  the podium. Sunglasses don't work! Therefore, it's just safer to not talk when the podium is occupied. Remember: SAFETY FIRST! (Section Leaders help protect the eyes of your section; if you can't see - you can't read the music ... and most of you can't ad lib).

Questions or comments about the interpretation of the music is best discussed with the director outside of rehearsal time.

During performances, no talking between pieces. The director is usually introducing the next piece and the audience doesn't care to hear about what you did last night.


Warm-up/Tuning:

Warming up before rehearsal begins is random and up to the individual or section leader. This doesn't mean you can play as loud as you want to the irritation of those around you. At the beginning of each rehearsal, however, the concert master will stand to give a tuning note.

Generally, we will start tuning with the low voices first (low brass) then ending with our upper voices (flutes, clarinets). Watch the director and don't play out of sequence.

Unless instructed by the director, all noodling and warm-up ceases between pieces.

Hygiene:

Speaking of safety first... condensation, particularly from brass instruments, can quickly become a problem and a safety hazard when you empty your slides on a tile floor. Use a newspaper, paper towel, rag, wash cloth, a trumpet player's shoe, a flute case, your own pants leg or whatever to keep condensation off the floor. Tuba players should bring their own bucket.

Sick Call:

It is certainly understood that you can't make every rehearsal or concert throughout the year. Because of the variety of music that we play, it is important that we know the type of instrumentation that will be available, particularly for concerts. If you cannot make a rehearsal or concert -- or if you will be out for awhile, let us know.

Sick Call

Equipment Needs

Stands/Stand lights:

Bring your own music stand. The band does not own any music stands. While wire stands work well, it has been the experience of some of our older musicians that the only good a wire stand serves is to pinch fingers, short-circuit car batteries and set cars on fire. You may want to go to the local music shop and invest in a more substantial folding stand or a standard Manhasset-style stand.

On occasion, you will find that a battery-powered stand light or reading light will help in those venues where electricity is unavailable or any ambient lighting isn't in your favor. The band does not own stand lights.

Clips, Pencils and Plexi-glass:

At some point in your career with the Symphonic Band, you'll discover why old people live as long -- and thrive -- as they do. It is because they develop shortcuts in life that allow them to do the same thing as an 18-year-old, but without all of the extra effort.

Pencils, and Braille,  are useful for writing notes on music. Braille is particularly helpful if you talked while the director was on the podium and now you're suffering some sort of eye injury. Never use a pen on the music because the librarian will cause the same type of eye injury as you would get from the guy on the podium if you were talking. Besides, a pen won't fit that neat little pencil-holder doohickey thing that attaches to your lead pipe that you can get over the internet for about $2.

Clothespins, music stand clips, and paper clips are your friend, particularly at outdoor concerts. But plexi-glass is your better friend. It is a great invention for getting rid of clothespins, music stand clips, and paperclips during outside concerts. If you take a 10" x 17" piece and put it on top of your music you'll forever bless us old people for this idea. Just don't throw your instrument case on top of it after the first concert... it does break. Don't throw that wire stand on your battery, either.

 

This page was updated on 01/22/2014

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