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First orchestra gig!

Postby lost » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:20 pm

I recently volunteered to help a colleague's orchestra director by filling in on tuba in a small community orchestra concert. Fyi for those not familiar with me....tuba is a 5th instrument I dabble on and have fun with in a community band and parade band... but never in an orchestra.

The rep I am needed for is Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet overture and Nimrod.

Both parts look manageable for my ability. Since a few of you have orchestral experience a few questions...

Any tips for playing tuba with a small orchestra?

Any tips on the particular pieces?

Tips for keeping instrument warm and in tune with so much resting time? Particularly, Nimrod.

Oh and I googled all these question beforehand with limited success.

Thanks tubenet!

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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby Mark » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:57 pm

Elgar's Nimrod? This movement of the Enigma Variations is only about four minutes long. There isn't that much resting. This is a beautiful piece. Play with a beautiful tone and don't play too loudly.

The Tchaik is not too hard for tuba; but there are some other folks in the orchestra working their butts off on this piece. Don't make it harder for them by playing too loud. Be careful to get the off-beats.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:52 pm

Message me about quickly purchasing a C tuba from me.
' no way can you play a Bb tuba in a simfunny archestrah.

(' have fun, and enjoy having the tuba sound be YOUR sound.) :D
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby lost » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:53 pm

Mark wrote:Elgar's Nimrod? This movement of the Enigma Variations is only about four minutes long. There isn't that much resting. This is a beautiful piece. Play with a beautiful tone and don't play too loudly.

The Tchaik is not too hard for tuba; but there are some other folks in the orchestra working their butts off on this piece. Don't make it harder for them by playing too loud. Be careful to get the off-beats.


Thanks Mark. Yes Elgar. They are doing it as a standalone piece, not the other variations. I think I was concerned with where it is programmed in the concert and I might be resting another piece in addition to that. I also will probably be using a bigger Bb horn so your advice has me reconsidering something smaller.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby lost » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:56 pm

bloke wrote:Message me about quickly purchasing a C tuba from me.
' no way can you play a Bb tuba in a simfunny archestrah.

(' have fun, and enjoy having the tuba sound be YOUR sound.) :D


This was a thought. :lol:
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:58 pm

The only dicey thing about the Fantasy-Overture is the last note...
If the timpanist plays that pitch out of tune, you're sunk; your lips will stop vibrating...
...so hope for a good timpanist, or for the timpanist to not be nearby.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby timayer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:43 am

bloke wrote:Message me about quickly purchasing a C tuba from me.
' no way can you play a Bb tuba in a simfunny archestrah.


Bloke pointed out an important issue here - If getting a CC isn't in the cards, you need to email the music director immediately and ensure that the orchestra plays these pieces a whole step down to accommodate your instrument.


Seriously, now -

With the Tchaik, as in most of his works, while it's tempting to play as loudly as it appears he has indicated, this is a piece where the orchestra well tend to drag through the Allegro sections. There are a lot of syncopations, and those WILL DRAG. Fight the urge to follow everyone else, keep your eyes on the conductor, and play where the beats are, and bring your A-game articulations. This will do more than the conducting to keep the group together through those sections. If you have a spare few minutes before, after, or during a rehearsal, it may be worthwhile to do the Allegro sections with the percussion section to ensure that you guys are on the same page. Sacrifice volume to achieve the above.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby dgpretzel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:42 pm

Sacrifice volume...

:shock:

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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby timayer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:50 pm

dgpretzel wrote:
Sacrifice volume...

:shock:

DG


As you well know, not something I say lightly.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby dgpretzel » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:20 pm

(but, loudly)

:)
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby timothy42b » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:48 pm

timayer wrote:Fight the urge to follow everyone else, keep your eyes on the conductor, and play where the beats are, and bring your A-game articulations. This will do more than the conducting to keep the group together through those sections. .


Danger, Will Robinson!

Yes you must play where the beats are, but watching an orchestra conductor can be confusing. The ictus may not align with the beat. You have to do it their way, and for orchestral and choral conductors their point for beat is sometimes not what a wind band musician expects. The real place for the beat they're expecting is often considerably later than the apparent direction change of their motion. You can get yelled at for rushing if you play where you think the conductor indicated the beat. Found this out the hard way. When I direct my ictus coincides with beat, but that isn't the way most do it.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby bloke » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:16 pm

:idea: :arrow: notice:

I only warned you about the timpanist...I'm not trying to tell you how to play.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby lost » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:28 pm

I never understood conducting ahead of an orchestra. I have no idea how orchestral musicians do it. Bravo to them.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby timothy42b » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:53 pm

LUFU
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby iiipopes » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:58 pm

lost wrote:[T]uba is a 5th instrument I dabble on and have fun with in a community band and parade band... but never in an orchestra.

What are the first four?
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby roweenie » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:15 pm

lost wrote:
bloke wrote:Message me about quickly purchasing a C tuba from me.
' no way can you play a Bb tuba in a simfunny archestrah.

(' have fun, and enjoy having the tuba sound be YOUR sound.) :D


This was a thought. :lol:


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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby PeteDenton » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:10 am

From memory there is a long sustained quiet B natural in the Tchaik which often requires a breath but has no obvious place to breathe un-noticed. I seem to recall that if you listen to the timpanist you can hide a breath when they re-strike the note. It's a well known corner of the tuba repertoire and if you nail it you will get appreciative comments from other the brass players (if they know the repertoire well).

Above all else, be musical and enjoy!
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:14 pm

Seriously.....the conductor will give you the hand if you are too loud. The fairly good-sized community orchestras I have played in, what they liked was that they could hear me. That doesn't mean blow the bell off, but it does mean don't be shy.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby bloke » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:40 pm

MaryAnn wrote:Seriously.....the conductor will give you the hand if you are too loud. The fairly good-sized community orchestras I have played in, what they liked was that they could hear me. That doesn't mean blow the bell off, but it does mean don't be shy.


this.
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Re: First orchestra gig!

Postby Heavy_Metal » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:04 pm

timothy42b wrote:
timayer wrote:Fight the urge to follow everyone else, keep your eyes on the conductor, and play where the beats are, and bring your A-game articulations. This will do more than the conducting to keep the group together through those sections. .


Danger, Will Robinson!

Yes you must play where the beats are, but watching an orchestra conductor can be confusing. The ictus may not align with the beat. You have to do it their way, and for orchestral and choral conductors their point for beat is sometimes not what a wind band musician expects. The real place for the beat they're expecting is often considerably later than the apparent direction change of their motion. You can get yelled at for rushing if you play where you think the conductor indicated the beat. Found this out the hard way. When I direct my ictus coincides with beat, but that isn't the way most do it.


I think I might know who you mean:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=56051

:twisted:
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