The view from the back

Julie Amphlett, horn player, holds her breath as the first draft of the ECB's Adopt a Composer collaboration arrives ...

Last rehearsal we were finally given the chance to see an early draft of the exciting, original composition Gaynor Barradell has been working on especially for teh Edinburgh Concert Band (ECB). The band seemed to be holding its breath as the music was handed out. I wasn't able to make it to the workshop in November and so I had no idea what to expect.

I had no need to worry though - as even at this early stage it was a fantastic whirlwind trip around the globe with a distinctly Scottish accent tying all the ideas together. As it is being written very much with us in mind it plays to each section's talents and abilities which makes it very enjoyable to play. Gaynor was making notes and answering questions all the way through and it felt like a very collaborative process. At the end of the rehearsal we were given chance to write any comments or thoughts we had about the piece for Gaynor (that we may be too scared to say face to face!). I'm sure there will have been some great feedback and constructive comments. 

Musicians can be very demanding! From a playing perspective, it's not just about whether the piece sounds good, we also ideally want music that's very 'playable' so that the fingering is intuitive and straight forward, and we've less chance of splitting or mispitching notes. I think this is especially true of the us horn players. We sit at the back of the band, and, as I'm sure Sarah our conductor would agree, we can be a tough crowd! However on Tuesday night there were encouraging sounds all round - and not just from the instruments!

I'm sure I speak for the whole band when I say I can't wait to hear (and play) the final piece!