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Hiya all. As you may recall from various postings over the years, I do a lot of solo playing, mainly to backing tracks or with some of my students. But since the early eighties when I played violin I haven't really played in a true ensemble. Inspired by seeing Robert Winston playing in an ensemble very soon after picking up a sax on the BBC's Play It Again series, I thought 'Ive GOTTA get in a band or start my own'.

I had tried to find a pianist for a sax/piano duet by advertising locally but with no success but my other idea was finding a concert band or some such. I approached Maidstone Winds (the town I live in) but they wanted grade 8 minimum players. They did say I could try out for them on tenor but as tenor is not my main horn, I felt I wanted to find a band wanting alto or soprano. Maidstone Symphony Orchestra didn't even reply, I expect they think 'saxophones do not belong in an orchestra'.

A boad member over at came to my rescue - his teacher is in the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Concert Band; their practice hall is about twenty miles from me. Their main band is full but their training band is more flexible and has players from beginners to grade 8. I'm somewhere in the middle of those two 'extremes'. So I pleaded with my manager to let me leave work half hour early (whilst making the time up) to get there in time and it was good, so I thought yeah I'll do this for a while at at least'. The following week, I spoke to my manager about it, who was aware it was a regular thing and he didn't want me to do it, despite letting me go to the first session. Dashed my hopes in one fell swoop, sonofa...! Anyway, he went off sick with chicken pox (serves him right) and I spoke to HIS boss about it and he had been informed of my request. He said 'sure, no problem'!

So there you have it, despite the fact I've been playing and gigging alone for nigh on twelve years (except when I enlist my students for Christmas work), I'll now get what I see as much-needed ensemble experience. At the moment I'm sight reading (which is fine) until the conductor gets my parts all copied but that's cool.

So it's great to be involved in something like this at last, since opportunities in my area are practically zero and I may be inspired to get my own concert band together. :)

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43,582 Posts
:twisted: well done, it is a sign of coming of age when you stop doing it by yourself...... :D, I am still practicing alone, in the darkness of my attic.....:D but every thursday evening I play with a impro-ensemble.......Group-sax you see.....! A different thing than playing by yourself:twisted:

P.s. I just thought to go to more sessions.....I am afraid I am a sax-addict!:cool:

P.S- II can't really do much music reading , they say that practising by yourself , in the dark, makes you go blind......
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