Hey there, I didn't get around to reporting on the most fun I've had in ages, a couple of Fridays ago (get your minds out of the gutter)!
I arrived early for concert band practise as I always do and the conductor told me he'd forgotten his scores and had to dash home and to start the band off when they arrived, with some scales and chord tones, as he often does to warm up. So I did this, then took them through some jazz quavers (explaining to someone how to play them). and they then demanded they play a tune. I was a bit nervous to do so, as I didn't want to step on the conductor's toes.
But I decided to take them through Rock Around the Clock. As our conductor does, I took them through the architecture, pointing out repeats and codas and then asked for three soloists (I've done the improvisation in band a few times before myself) but as always, no one would volunteer! So I picked an alto, a clarinet and another alto (usually the saxes only get to do the improvisation, I thought a change would be good), then conducted the tune at faster than our usual pace, to give it more 'snap' and vitality. They sounded like a big band, it was great and they loved it.
As they were swinging their way through, our conductor walked in - I thought 'uh oh' ('the players asked for a tune, I was just gonna do scales...') but he's a great leader - I can only conduct in 4/4 and 3/4! I've conducted a group of my students in the past but never a large ensemble - it was really fun - that feeling of POWER!!!! :twisted:
Following week, we did Rock Around again and I took a solo (since this is concert band with lots of light classics and so on, I do far out solos, which may freak out any classical-only players!) and our conductor said he'd had 'good feedback' about my leading the band the week before.