solo and ensemble gig


This morning I am taking a little hiatus from wallowing in the past here. If you’re curious, I did follow up on yesterday’s blog with a reply to Sarah’s comment.  I also listened to the second side to the 7th reel this morning. It was a recording of a commercial recording of hymns. It made me imagine Ben and Dorothy listening to this kind of thing for pleasure (and devotion). In the recordings, a male singer is dominant, there is a back up choir and the accompaniment is a shaky sounding electric organ sound much like the one Grandmother Dorothy uses in the recordings.

It makes me wonder how Ben thought about his own recordings. But more on that in future blogs.

Wonder of wonders, the Holland High School orchestra director, John Reikow, emailed me yesterday about accompanying several students at the Solo and Ensemble Festival in Grand Rapids a week from tomorrow. I marvel a bit at the last minute nature of the request. I replied and he put me in touch with band director, Demetrius White.

Weirdly, instead of communicating by email, Reikow asked me to phone White which I did.

He immediately emailed me pdfs of accompaniments. I went through all these yesterday on my tablet. I’m still working out how to use the tablet with these accompaniments. It simplifies things to have all the music on the tablet, however some of these little pieces have musical roadmaps that result in having to jump all over the several pages of the score (D.C. al Coda).


I will work on these more this morning, mapping out how to do them. I have thought of printing one or two pages if it would be helpful. But then I have to coordinate them with the tablet. We’ll see. White just emailed me three more pdfs.


It’s a bit weird to suddenly be asked to do this kind of work after having been overlooked for many years here in Holland. I did a lot of this kind of thing for Grand Haven High School. I connected with them through the Band Director who hired me to help with the pit orchestra for the school musical. This led to him recommending me to parents for Solo and Ensemble accompaniment.

At Holland High, I was only ever asked to help a bit with a couple of their musical pit orchestras. It was oddly directed by a non faculty person whom I knew through church. I think this is how I met my friend, Jordan Van Hemert, when he was a high school student.

So Mr. White from Holland High has arranged for multiple 15 minute rehearsals for me with students today at Holland High School. This will take from noon to 3 PM. I’m expecting at least one more day like this next week and then the Saturday gig.

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