Wind Symphony Billboard

Participation Guidelines

From Maestro Pete Nowlen

General Guidelines for All Wind Symphony Members:

  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes before rehearsal and warm up softly. Once warmed up, pre-tune with your tuner app or electronic tuner.
  • When the tuning note is sounded, you should already be carefully pre-tuned. When it sounds, use it to make careful final adjustments to the tuning of your instrument using the 4 steps:
    • Listen (to the tuning note)
    • Play (the tuning note)
    • Compare (using methods that will be taught in ensemble)
    • Adjust (your instrument to be more in tune)
  • No cell phones or other electronic devices during rehearsal.
  • Soft talking is ok WHEN it is serving the rehearsal. Otherwise, save it for the break.
  • If you need to use the restroom and cannot wait for break, it is not necessary to ask the conductor. Hurry back and ask your section leader for anything you need to mark in your music from the time you were gone!
  • Mark instructions you receive from the director or your section leader.
  • If you miss a rehearsal, ask your section leader what you need to mark into your music.
  • When the conductor is working with a different section, listen carefully to see if what is being said also applies to your part.
  • The general expectation of the ensemble is for approximately two hours of outside practice of our music per week. More if needed, of course.
    • Practice BOTH your hard passages and your easy ones, and spend time studying the recordings, listening to how your part fits into the whole.
      • Practice hard passages to conquer them. Work slowly and meticulously.
      • Practice easy passages to create beautiful sound, perfect intonation, etc.

Duties of a section leader

  • Play major solos in your part while still sharing some with section members.
  • Lead your section and build its quality by:
    • Learning all your music early and accurately.
    • Playing in a clear projecting style, providing the section a good sound and style to match. 
      • Study recordings in order to be accurate in rhythm and style.
    • Carefully tracking and clearly marking all rehearsal instructions so that they can be reinforced to section members and shared with absent players.
    • Monitoring the balance and blend of your section. 
      • Is anyone sticking out? 
    • Making positive and encouraging clarifications and corrections of style, rhythm, intonation, balance, etc. to section members.
      • Does someone need a little help with a rhythm? Anybody missing a key signature or accidental? Playing a note too long or too short?
      • Use “We” and “neutral” statements.
        • “WE need to play that note a little shorter.” “WE aren’t quite nailing that rhythm at m. 23.” We can’t miss that Eb.” etc.
        • “The note on beat 3 of measure 29 needs to be earlier.” “The off beats are a little behind.” Etc.
  • Listen to other sections and section leaders to match intonation, balance, style, articulation, etc. 
    • Discuss differences that might come up at the break.

Duties of a Section Member

  • Practice and study your music.
  • Play with style and momentum.
  • As you play, listen to, and match your section leader in style, articulation, etc. 
  • Do your best to implement any requests or instructions by the director or section leader.
  • Listen constantly for intonation, balance and articulation within your section. Don’t stick out!
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