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MYS Symphony NOTES - 2.13.19


  • Rehearsal plan for February 16

  • Make-up rehearsal (!!!)

  • Nutcracker 2019

  • Reminder: Practice strategy

  • Reminder: NWCT "Dinosaurs!"


Rehearsal plan for Feb 16

This Saturday will be the same as what we would have done last Saturday: work on Max Balls's second draft during the first half of rehearsal, then we will move on to Firebird and Ibert (people who don't play Ibert are dismissed at 12:00pm). Double check rosters here.

9:30am-10:45am - Max Ball 2nd reading

- break -

11:00am-12:00pm - Firebird

12:00pm-12:30pm - Ibert


Make-up rehearsal

We are adding a rehearsal of RESPIGHI and IBERT to make up the one we lost due to weather. Please mark your calendars for Friday, February 22, from 7:00pm to 9:30pm.

Location TBD. Thanks.


Nutcracker 2019

You may know that MYSfits (with added winds and percussion) performed a fully staged production of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker this season. We plan to partner with the Oregon International Ballet Academy next school year to do it again.

This time, I would like to open up this opportunity to all members of Symphony Orchestra, as an optional extra program next season. It will still be a chamber orchestra (10 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, 1 bass, 1 flute/pic, 1 oboe/eh, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 trumpet, 1 french horn, 1 keyboard, 1 percussion.)

Rehearsals will take place on a weeknight (probably Thursday evenings), from the beginning of the fall term until the concerts on November 22 and 23.

If you're interested, please let me know. Please note that this is a difficult (but rewarding) work. I personally LOVE playing in the pit for theatre and ballet productions.


Reminder: Practice strategy

Just posting this again because it's important:

I would like to suggest a practice strategy for your orchestra music. Like I've said many times, you should come to rehearsal with your individual part fully learned. Rehearsals are NOT to learn your own part, they are to learn everybody else's part.

I think of practicing in 3 stages:

1. Figuring out: this is your first phase. You're figuring out notes, fingerings, rhythms, dynamics. Nothing should be left to chance. It helps A LOT to listen to recordings (different recordings of the same piece).

2. Slow practice/mindful repetition: Once you've figured out *what* you're going to do in step 1, now you actually PRACTICE it. You've read this before (or heard it from me): slow practice makes for fast progress. Fast practice makes for slow progress. USE YOUR METRONOME.

3. Polishing/maintenance: Now you can worry about bringing things up to tempo, and work on nuances. Once you've gotten as close as possible to mastering a passage, come back to it often. Every now and then, slow it down, deconstruct it, bring it back up to speed.

Suggested strategy for MYS music:

Aim to practice your orchestra music for a minimum of 30 minutes EVERY DAY (except your day off).

1. Sunday: day off

2. Monday through Wednesday: practice what we worked on at the last rehearsal. On Wednesday, read my blog posts/notes.

3. Wednesday through Friday: practice what we will be working on at the next rehearsal

4. Saturday: rehearsal!! You'll feel so good that you're well prepared.


Reminder: NWCT's "Dinosaurs!"

In preparation for our collaboration with Northwest Children's Theatre, we plan to go see "Dinosaurs!" at NWCT on Sunday, February 17 at 2:00pm. After the show, we will get an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of NWCT and we'll get to meet a few of the "Starlings" who will be performing with us in March.

This is not a required activity, but highly recommended. If you're available, please mark your calendars and purchase your tickets online with the discount code below.

  • What: The Starlings Present: Dinosaurs! - followed by backstage tour and talkback with teen and adult actors and puppeteers.

  • When: February 17th at 2pm

  • Where: Northwest Children’s Theater, 1819 NW Everett Street, Portland, OR 97209

  • Discount Code: MYSymphony for special price $12 tickets. Buy online or call 503-222-2190.

Parents: I still need 3 parent volunteers to come and help manage the group. Each parent volunteer will get a complimentary ticket. Please e-mail me to let me know if you can come help out.

My driveway last Saturday...

Thanks and see you Saturday!!

Dr. G.

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