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 Post subject: Best way to run sectionals
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:52 pm 
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In your experience, what are the best ways to run a sectional? What to avoid, what to include, tips of the trade?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:46 am 
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Location: So Cal; Home of the Quake & the Wave
Keep a decent pace---never faster than what the slowest member can handle.
Avoid dead air, or uncomfortable silences.
Include a warm-up [long tones, scales], and pace your rehearsal from easy fix problems to the more difficult stuff.
If sectional is more than an hour, insert a break or two. Depending on how much time you've got, a well-organized sectional can be as short as a half hour or as long as 2 hours plus---depends on how much ground you need to cover. If you have more than one day available, split the itinerary---especially if your sectional is the same day as a rehearsal. You don't want to blow out chops.
A metronome and a tuner are recommended options.
When I was in college at USC, we would have sectionals on saturday mornings before full band rehearsal. We'd have Stroh's and Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast [shouts to Joe Merkovsky and Rick Cox wherever you are for all the carbs]..... :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:44 pm 
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Have a plan on what you are going to work on...

there is nothing I hated more than being asked to go to a sectional and then show up and have the section leader(s) not know what they were going to do and just talk with themselves about what they will work on for like 10 mins. It was annoying... they were just wasting our time.

Also... don't mess around when ur the leader...also wasting peoples time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:31 am 
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Our section is a pretty little and very strong section, so we had some time talking with open discussions of what you needed to work on or what ever came into your mind. We have fun in sectionals because we get things done and then have some extra time to have fun. So add some fun to the seriousness at the end of the sectional. It really does work. At the end of band camp we had our show memorized. So have some fun with it.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:56 am 
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Quote:
Also... don't mess around when ur the leader...also wasting peoples time.


Yeah...because your section will love and adore you if you cut anything resembling fun out of sectionals :? . Section leaders are still people, and I don't think it's possible for any high schooler to go an entire season without screwing around once in a while.

My section loves it when the other section leader and I goof off and crack jokes during sectionals. It breaks the monotony of playing the field show over and over and just generally lightens the overall mood. So I don't see how that is wasting people's time at all. It seems to me, rather, that it is making the time we spend rehearsing more enjoyable. I think messing around is fine as long as you accomplish the goals you had planned for that particular sectional.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:19 pm 
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Harsona42 wrote:
Quote:
Also... don't mess around when ur the leader...also wasting peoples time.


Yeah...because your section will love and adore you if you cut anything resembling fun out of sectionals :? . Section leaders are still people, and I don't think it's possible for any high schooler to go an entire season without screwing around once in a while.

My section loves it when the other section leader and I goof off and crack jokes during sectionals. It breaks the monotony of playing the field show over and over and just generally lightens the overall mood. So I don't see how that is wasting people's time at all. It seems to me, rather, that it is making the time we spend rehearsing more enjoyable. I think messing around is fine as long as you accomplish the goals you had planned for that particular sectional.

If you're having some fun that's okay, but if you're not getting anything done you're wasting people's time, and that's a great way to lose people's trust. I personally can't stand for my time to be wasted as I think it's quite valuable. In fact one time I quit a production I was playing for because I felt the person who was running it wasn't being respectful of my time. So feel free to have fun, just don't let it get in the way of the work you're there to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:45 pm 
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MoophoniumMan wrote:
Harsona42 wrote:
Quote:
Also... don't mess around when ur the leader...also wasting peoples time.


Yeah...because your section will love and adore you if you cut anything resembling fun out of sectionals :? . Section leaders are still people, and I don't think it's possible for any high schooler to go an entire season without screwing around once in a while.

My section loves it when the other section leader and I goof off and crack jokes during sectionals. It breaks the monotony of playing the field show over and over and just generally lightens the overall mood. So I don't see how that is wasting people's time at all. It seems to me, rather, that it is making the time we spend rehearsing more enjoyable. I think messing around is fine as long as you accomplish the goals you had planned for that particular sectional.

If you're having some fun that's okay, but if you're not getting anything done you're wasting people's time, and that's a great way to lose people's trust. I personally can't stand for my time to be wasted as I think it's quite valuable. In fact one time I quit a production I was playing for because I felt the person who was running it wasn't being respectful of my time. So feel free to have fun, just don't let it get in the way of the work you're there to do.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:19 pm 
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Sorry.. What I meant wasn't "don't have fun".. it was more along the lines of don't play on the cherry picker while your section stands at attention waiting for you to tell them what to do

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:13 am 
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i think its actually very important to have some fun during sectionals. members that like and trust each other will work and play better together than people that don't know each other very well, which is why i try to make sectionals as involved as i can.

its very early in the season right now, and we really haven't had very much sectional time yet, but i honestly think the most productive part so far was when i (the leader) decided that we should pack up 5 minutes early and just chat.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:06 pm 
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i'm just gonna list things out:
-make sure your section is having fun
-find a focus for each sectional or each part of a sectional (cleaning technique on snares and tenors, keeping intonation on horns, tempos, etc.)
-if it's at someone's house, make sure that there's food. if there's not, order pizza or something.
-use a metronome. also pretty important
-if you're a section leader, don't just conduct and not play if you're a horn player. you may have something flawed that your section will point out.
-if you're cleaning music up, just do pure repititions of unclean passages.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:26 pm 
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I was just wondering...you know how theres more than one section leader right? Well atleast our clarinet section has 4 section leaders. And usually one of em runs the sectional while the others watch and listen to the section. Do you think it would be better if the sections broke up into pods of like 15-20 people each? Thats what we usually do at our gigs, but i dunno. What would be the problem with doing that? I'm sure anyone could have thought of the idea?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:46 pm 
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I think breaking into smaller groups by split(chair, 1st part second etc. you get the point). If thats still too big break those groups down.
This will allow more analysis and aide to individual problems.


It is also important of course to meld as a group and make sure you create one solid sound.

I think that the emphasis on the individual is more important early in the season when you may need to aid individuals with certain parts of their playing, where as later in the year its too late to drastically alter fundamentals and playing together is of more importance.


All that said Im form a section a 6 trumpets. Theres no problem hearing each individual and the whole section at the same time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:47 pm 
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I totally agree with thaiguy20fromla!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:08 am 
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Though this topic is rather old, I wonder if my own advice will apply.

During marching season, I think the greatest tool is competition. Like, when teaching newer members marching basics, I always challenge a nearby section to a volume/cleanliness match. It drives away the monotony of the section leaders recitation of commands, and the bland response from the section in question.

When working with music, I think the best option is to challenge the section to become stronger. Make sure that you can play the music well, first and foremost. Make sure that you clear up any parts you're uncertain of with the director, and then make sure you're playing it as well as possible. Though it seems unlikely, the 'section leader' is a powerful figure because human nature makes the section want to surpass them. And obviously this applies to concert season as well. >.>

Erm... Anyways, I think one of the most important things to do is to really know your section as friends. First and foremost, they're people with interests, priorities, and sometimes they have to sacrifice a lot to be in band. A girl in my section had to spend her summer working to pay for band, and she quit the school volleyball team to make room for rehearsals. It becomes really important to know, and sympathize about those kinds of things, simply because the director can't.

Treat your section like people, not music-making machines, I guess.

I'll shush now.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:18 pm 
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A few tips that may help:
1) As has been stated, HAVE A PLAN. Pay attention during full band rehearsals. If you hear a part in the music that the section is having trouble with, or the director comments on, that becomes an immediate priority. Also, try asking the director what they would like you to work on.

2) Make sure to address technique in your sectional rehearsals. 10-15 minutes of exercises is not too much to ask. Ask your director or line coach for exercises. It is not enough to learn the music, also try to help the section to develop their playing ability throughout the season. Make sure the exercises are appropriate, accessible, and effective for the level of players in the section. In other words, work on things the section needs to be able to do in order to perform better, not just the COOL SOUNDING warm-ups that someone heard BD doing...

3) Repetition, repetition, repeptition. The best way to learn, clean, and memorize material is to repeat it in small portions (usually 8 bar phrases). Break it down further if there is a specific figure the section is having difficulty with.

4) DO NOT SPEAK TO HEAR YOURSELF SPEAK OR TO SOUND IMPORTANT AND IN CHARGE. Keep your instructions, comments, and recommendations short and precise. Stay on-task and focus on the objectives. Try to keep the playing to talking ratio of 90% PLAYING, 10% talking.

5) ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE. Develop good performance habits by having an effective routine. Start all sectionals with it, and start sectional warm-ups at performances with it. It helps to develop GOOD habits when it comes to performances. Goes along with the sentiment "Training, people! Training!" If your group is well-trained and has a routine to follow, they will be able to deal with any little problems that happen to creep up at the worst possible time (Murphy's Law).

As to the basics of the music:
-Go for note accuracy. If it is not correct, then fix it. It will most likely NOT fix itself.
-Go for rhythmic accuracy at slower tempos and then speed it up. People tend to want to play difficult passages quickly. Rushing through the music just lets people play so fast they MISS any errors.
-Match up ALL attacks and releases. However, do not spend 1 hour on the same attack/release.
=Of course, make sure you know YOUR part first, then learn the rest of the parts your section plays (1st, 2nd, 3rd). If you need to, play the passage for them to give them a model to follow, or to demonstrate interpretation and style.

Just work together and realize that you are all there for the same reason; TO HAVE A GREAT BAND EXPERIENCE! With that said, there is no better band experience than working hard to learn your material and going out and performing GREAT!

Nothing is more fun than being in a group that has great performances.

Hope that helps. HAVE FUN!

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