January- the start of the new year.
A promise of hope in the winter gloom. The filing of tax returns by the 31st ( scary for some). And the first meeting of the BGS Pluck'n strummers for the year. Hello 2014!!
Late tax returns aside, we had a a great turn out with two new members joining. Special welcome to new members, Malcolm Lane and Kevin Clancy who, in a variation of Caesar's quote, "came, saw, plucked and strummed" with the rest of us. They were recruited with lightning speed by doughty chairman followed by a 'ker-ching' of the Treasurer's cash register!! (I think Malcolm and Kevin were still in a state of shock at the end of the evening).
We were all pleased to see that the new evening program of 'ensemble aerobics' is proving to be a vote winner amongst the members. Not only does it provide a suitable warm up before we get down to the main business of ensemble practice and solo performances, but adds greater variety for all members and caters for all standards of experience and expertise. For my own part, it certainly has helped me build and improve upon my sight reading.
We are grateful to John Mann and Ray Butcher for providing suitable 'easy' pieces for the ensemble aerobics. Actually we were pleasantly surprised by Ray's choices- usually we look forward to Ray's choices with a mixture of curiosity and dread. But he came up trumps with Eric Crouch's arrangement of 'Deep Thoughts Revived' ( from Captain Hume's Musicall Humours). Our Thoughts were revived with a tinge of gratitude and relief!!. John Mann added to the list with a few easy pieces from Forrest Ensemble Number 3)
Ensemble aerobics are fun but we were all desperately gagging for a coffee break and a catch up 'yack' with other members. Feeling fortified by Larisa and Trev's coffee and cakes, I was particularly anxious to discuss the current Test results from Australia but, curiously I found no takers !!! Can't understand why... :)
My attempts to discuss the test results were stalled by an instant decision of the chair for solo performances to take place. We were entertained with contributions from
Freddy Carvalho Over The Rainbow (Marburg/Arlen)
Colin Baker Somebody Loves Me ( Gershwin)
Vince Chittenden Study in E (Sor) and Study in F (Carcassi)
John Mann Lettre a La Saudade Lettre Encore (Dyens)
We then spent the evening working on our new performance piece for the FGS and other music Festivals- the brilliant Levesque piece Nota bene. It is a great jazzy ensemble piece that puts one in mind of flamenco rhythmic swings- especially with the percussive additions. Everyone certainly enjoyed practicing the piece. Special thanks to John for finding it and leading us all. I look forward to performing Nota bene for the FGS meet in June! (Once more the FGS have chosen to put my marriage under pressure by scheduling my wife's birthday for the AGM- Thanks a million guys!!!...I must borrow the music to Somebody Loves Me from Colin to placate her.)
Look forward to seeing you in February. Special Thanks to Larisa and Trevor for the refreshments , to Ray and John for the ensembles and to our well known and favorite article of Furniture..our chair Den Stockton!!