Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rehearsals in 2013

Rehearsals resume Monday January 7 and continue weekly. In the event of snow or similar bad weather, we will cancel rehearsal if Blue Ridge Community College cancels evening classes that day. The BRCC web site will have that information.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Concert A Great Success

Thanks to everyone for a great Christmas Concert.  Besides receiving tons of applause after each number and a standing ovation at the end, we raised over $1,200 for ShenanArts youth programs.   We had 73 on stage for the concert.  

Thanks for a wonderful performance by the Stonewall Flutes of the Shenandoah and The Stonewall Brigade Band! 
Thanks to those who helped load and transport equipment and music to and from the band room. 
Thanks to board member Terri Corey for organizing the reception.   
Thanks to Christine and Austin for getting all the equipment ready to load and for doing maintenance on all the Saxhorns. 
Thanks to Dr. Scott Hippeard for dropping everything at the last minute to drive from Roanoke and fill in on tympani. 
Thanks to the people at Gypsy Hill House for their hospitality.
Thanks to ShenanArts for hosting our concert and for their help with staging, shuttles, and ushers.  Attend a show!
Thanks to Brent Hisey of "Now You're Cooking" for loaning us the chairs for the stage.   The white chairs along with the white
     Poinsettias gave real sparkle to our stage appearance.  If you need a great  caterer call Brent--540-886-5344.
Thanks to Jamie, Ray, and David for conducting on the concert.  You guys did a great job.  
Thanks to the Leader papers, the radio stations, churches, and ShenanArts for great publicity for the concert. 
Thanks to Greg and Holly Shrader for designing and printing the beautiful posters and programs. 
Thanks to Roger for suggesting we play "Baby It's Cold Outside."  It was a hit!
Thanks to everyone who did something to help that I didn't mention above.  

Our Winter/Spring rehearsals resume on Monday January 9.   Good time for new members to join up!

We have 12 concerts to prepare, plus the "best of" concert at the end of the season.  That means around 150 pieces to have ready by the first concert on June 3.   Strong rehearsal attendance is a must.  

Our next scheduled performance for the full band is the Mary Baldwin Graduation on May 19.  There may be other performances scheduled as the opportunity arises. 

Remember that our snow policy is that if evening classes at Blue Ridge Community College are canceled then band is canceled. If in doubt, call my cell phone 540-294-9791.  

Thanks to our members for all you do to keep the Stonewall Brigade Band the oldest-continuous among over 2,000 community bands in the nation.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bob Moody

p.s.  If you would like to be entertained in January, be sure to catch "12th Night at the Gateway" on Saturday night January 5th at 7:30 pm.  ($12 at the door, $10 in advance on  This variety show, hosted by Richard Adams, will feature two of our SBB members, plus comedy, and musical acts from around the area.   Gateway is located on Main Street in Downtown Waynesboro.

Friday, November 23, 2012

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tips for an outstanding concert season.

Here are some tips for a really great Summer concert season.

1. Play your instrument at home several days a week. Just warming up and playing 15-30 minutes at least every other day will do wonders for your tone and endurance.

2. When on stage, give your full attention to the music. Learn to filter out the crowd movement, car traffic noise, smells from the concession stand, etc.

3. Spend some time outdoors each day so you get used to hot weather. The bandstand has a concrete floor which heats up from the sun shining in on it during the day. That heat radiates up in the evening, which keeps the temperature pretty constant on the stage, for better tuning. But it can be pretty hot there.

4. Sit up straight with your back away from the chair. It lets air circulate and keeps you cool. It also improves your breathing and tone.

5. Before each piece, glance through it and find the key changes and tempo changes. Just realizing that the changes are there will help avoid unpleasant surprises.

6. Keep your attention equally divided between the three main components of playing: reading (the music and the conductor), playing, and "checking" where you listen to yourself and check that you are playing the right notes and rhythm "in tune, in tone, and in time" with the rest of the band. Part of the process is to recognize when you have the melody and when you are a "supporting actor." Make sure the melody is clearly heard, whether you have it or not. The general rule is "if it looks like a melody it probably is."

7. Check the band's web site for each week's program. If you have a recording of any of the pieces we are playing, listen to that recording. If not, check to see if there is a really great performance on YouTube or if you can get it for 99 cents at Amazon or iTunes. You can also often find recordings that you can listen to on your computer or phone at which is where we buy most of the band's music. Just listening to it will "tune your mind" to what it is supposed to sound like. Your subconscious mind will lead you to play so you sound like the recording you heard.

8. INVITE LOTS OF PEOPLE TO COME OUT TO THE CONCERTS. We always play better and have more fun when we have a large audience.

9. PUT THE CONCERTS ON YOUR CALENDAR.  Then when something "comes up" say "I already have something then.... It's the Stonewall Brigade Band Concert... I would be honored if you would come and listen to our concerts."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Percussion tip

The age-old advice of "Pull the tone out of the drum instead of driving the tone into the drum" sounds intriguing.... but what exactly does one actually do to accomplish this? In essence what we are talking about is managing the mallet or stick speed so that the stick or mallet starts the drum vibrating but doesn't dampen the vibration. This accomplished through a quick "snap back" of the stick, so that it doesn't follow the head through its vibration, but pulls away from the head quickly so the drum head is free to vibrate at its own pitch. There is a strong downward "tap" followed by a very quick upward rebound. To experience this, simply "thump" the palm of your hand with the middle finger of the other hand (snapping the middle finger from under the thumb is called "thumping.")

New members needed

The Stonewall Brigade Band is recruiting in all sections. We could use 2-3 more clarinets, another oboe, a couple of bass clarinets, another bassoon, quite a few trumpets, several trombones, more euphonium players, another tuba or two, and percussionists who can play mallets and tympani. We have fine players in all these sections, but need more depth in our sections to cover vacations during our Summer park concert series. College music students are welcome to "sit in" on the summer concerts. Just contact the director to arrange your participation in the oldest-continuous community concert band in the nation!