This was the first of the additional meetings that we recently decided to have in addition to the regular monthly meeting. The prime reason for these is to get in some more ensemble practice. And, under the expert guidance of John Mann, that is exactly what we did.
The turnout was lower than for our normal meetings but luckily we had at least one player present for each part of this year's chosen piece for Federation Day, namely Sicilienne, Op.78 by Gabriel Fauré, The lower numbers allowed us to arrange the ensemble in a semicircle which helped us to 'gel' a bit more, I think. We practised the Sicilienne mainly and even had a look at the Federation Day main piece (Guitarchestra). After the coffee break we strove to fine-tune bits of the Fauré until we were all a bit too tired of it - "shall we run through it just one more time?" we were asked. "NO!" came the quick and unusually assured reply!
Being the first of its kind, there was a somewhat tentative atmosphere as members got accustomed to the new format. It was well worth it purely for the extra practice it allowed us to get in ahead of the big event in three weeks' time. No doubt the format of these additional sessions will gradually fall into place over the coming months as we work out what we want from them.