Early Music Las Vegas Calendar
A Word From Buddy
A Year in Review
Posted Jul 27, 2014, 2:28 PM by Buddy Collier
It’s hard to believe a year has come and gone since we started the early music group! It has certainly been a learning opportunity for me. I’d like to share some of my thoughts with you about our first year.
At last year’s Southern Nevada Early Music Festival I introduced our group by saying that the word “new” was a great descriptor for us. We probably had the newest instruments in the room that day. Many of us had just purchased new recorders (and a viola da gamba!) a couple of months before the festival. The music we had prepared was new to us. And of course, our group was only three months old at the time! All that newness come together to play some pretty old music!
I figured at our beginning there would be a period of sifting and sorting. I was correct about that. One lesson I’ve learned is that we need to be more clear in our expectations of new members. I actually had one person express an interest in our group and told me that they would just like to sit and listen until they “got it.” Then, they would play along by ear. When I explained that we specialize in playing early music the next question was, “So, you play stuff like the Beatles?” Before this, I had assumed that anyone coming to visit us would know a little about the differences in modern music and music before the 1700‘s and have at least a low intermediate level on their instrument and be able to read basic notation. We are certainly not snobs when it comes to playing ability. However, there is just not enough time in a rehearsal to teach rudimentary music lessons then. Then there were a couple of people who could play just about anything you could put in front of them. Their idea of fun was to play as fast as possible. Yet, the approach used didn’t include considering how their part fit in with the whole group. Both types of people didn’t hang around very long. Believe me, when you are a young group and want to attract and keep members you spend a little time mulling things like this.
Then there has been the experience of new people coming and we sit down to play and being to discuss the music and how we might play it. The you realize that you don’t know what the new person knows. Am I telling them things they’ve known for years? Am I insulting their musical experience and education? Am I confusing them with information? Since we’ve maintained an open door policy when it comes to having new performers join us we didn’t think to make a list of expectations. Consider that another lesson learned.
As a whole we are playing at a higher level technically than we did one year ago. We are starting to develop an ear for certain pieces that seem to play out well for us. We are well past the rusty fingers stage that many were at last July. As we prepare for several performances coming up in October and in December we are able to plan for them with a sharper focus and intent. Our last few rehearsals have shown us that we can be ruthless at accepting or rejecting pieces for our next set of performances. I am thrilled to see more and more creative suggestions coming from the group as we discuss how best to play different pieces. I feel that we are moving into a new area as a group of musicians. We are starting to bond. I expect that we will continue to grow and mature as musicians who specialize In early music. I am looking forward to another year of making music with the group!
Interested in Playing With Us?
Posted Jul 30, 2014, 8:50 PM by Early Music Consort Las VegasWe love to meet new people and welcome them to come and join us.If you are thinking of dropping by for a play date here are some things you might like to know about us:
- Currently there are 8 members.
- Most of us play Soprano, Alto and Tenor recorders as needed. (No, we didn't start that way. It took lots of practice) Fewer of us have taken on the bass recorder.
- We read our music. We don't play by ear.
- I'd say that we are playing, as a group, at an intermediate level of technical difficult. (Many times there are easier lines in a piece. What's up with those 3 note tenor lines anyway?)
- Everybody misses notes and drops lines....we are NOT music snobs.
- We welcome period appropriate instruments.
- We are mostly recorders with a little gamba and harpsichord thrown in here and there. (Sometimes a little guitar....a.k.a. "lute" until a real one shows up)
- We would love LOVE to have a dedicated percussionist in the group. (Those dance tunes could use a little extra something.)
- We are pretty flexible but prefer to stick to the page more often than not.
- We are expanding our performance experience. You can see us at this Renaissance Fair at Sunset Park this October.
- And yes, thanks to Kim, we will be in costume!
So, let's say you only own a soprano recorder and your only experience has been playing a woodwind in high school or college but you still remember the fingerings. Can you come visit? Sure! There's lots to learn. And, I can pretty much promise the journey will be both fun and educational. Plus you might make a couple new friends along the way. You wouldn't be the first person who got started like that.
- We are also planning on doing several performances for the Christmas Holidays around town. (I think of these as little gifts to the community.)
Renaissance Festival Music
Posted Jul 30, 2014, 11:24 PM by Early Music Consort Las VegasWe are currently working on compiling our set list for the upcoming Renaissance Festival.Much of this music will come from our Schott Dance Volume and Renaissance Debut. Any members that would like to perform in small groups (solo, duet, trio) please start evaluating your music and give us an apporximate set/performance length so we can be ready to organize with the other festival performing groups.
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