Tuesday 7 November saw the much-anticipated first meeting with our Adopt a Composer Gaynor Barradell. I, for one, had been looking forward to it since hearing about the partnership and it was clear the band was collectively excited, too - at 7:15pm sharp, there was a full-strength band ready to rehearse!
Petra and I met with Gaynor and it was clear she shared our enthusiasm, but also our nerves: the sight of 50 eager musicians is quite daunting!
Gaynor joined the saxophone section for the evening. We got the rehearsal going with a familiar piece, Slipstream, to calm everyone's nerves. Gaynor was keen to hear us sight-reading, so out came a new piece, Glenn Miller Medley, which was full of well-known tunes and was great fun, despite the tricky rhythms.
We finished with a couple of more difficult pieces, including 44 Scotland Street, which has some awkward key signatures for both the clarinets and the flutes! It was clear the band was out to impress Gaynor- I felt we'd really upped our game and did a great job with these final two pieces, finishing the rehearsal on a high.
Then it was time for socialising! Everyone stayed to chat to Gaynor and our social rep, Alison, had brought us some much-needed biscuits after a busy rehearsal. After this evening, I think it is clear the Adopt a Composer process has brought a renewed energy to the band and we are all looking forward to the next stage of the process - I know I am!