Composing


So, you’re keen to write a piece for concert band! The AYSB is here to lend a hand, to workshop and ultimately perform your piece. Over a couple of months, you will write a piece for concert band, which will be rehearsed by real people. It’s a great chance to hear music ‘in the flesh’ and to collaborate with people – including other students, and adults – from across Auckland.

So, what Happens?

Once you have gotten in touch with the band, one of the composers from the group will flick you an email, and get in touch with your music teacher, so that we’re all on the same page.

At some stage, one of the composers will come to your school and run a mini-workshop about writing for concert bands.  There’ll be around three ‘lessons’ over a couple of months, and everything will be pretty informal.

After a couple of months you should have a piece ready to go!  When we have seen it, and checked that everything works musically, then the band will sight-read it, and rehearse for a few weeks.  You are expected to be at these workshop-rehearsals (your piece shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to rehearse).  You’ll be able to make changes as necessary if you hear that something isn’t working.

Once everything is complete, the band will record your piece, and send a recording to you and your school, along with a video (if applicable) and other notes.

Important Information:

–  The band is pretty flexible in terms of dates, but the piece must be finished around the end of term 2 or beginning of term 3.  This gives the band time to rehearse the piece and for final adjustments to be made before it is recorded.

–  The Band may play your piece in future concerts, with your permission.

–  If circumstances dictate, the Band may choose not to play your piece.  (We would like to play every piece, but sometimes just aren’t able to.)

–  This piece may be used for NCEA credits, as part of a ‘substantial music work’.  You can also use it for a Scholarship Music portfolio if that is something you’re doing, and if your teacher accepts it.

–  There is a small cost associated with this, to cover the costs of printing music and to give the band’s composers a small koha for coming into school and working with students.

–  Pieces are to be between 2 and 5 minutes, and scored for up to the following:
Woodwind:  Flutes 1,2, Oboe, Clarinets 1,2,3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax 1,2, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax.  Bassoon parts must be doubled by another instrument.
Brass:  Trumpets 1,2,3, Horns 1,2, Trombones 1,2,3, Euphonium, Tuba
Percussion:  Timpani, Marimba, Drum Kit, Gong, Bass Drum, Snare Drum
…this means you may use (for example) only one alto sax or flute part, but can have a maximum of two.

Still keen?

Fill in the form below, send the Band a Facebook message, or flick an email to Lyndon Alford (assistant conductor), at aucklandband@gmail.com – we’ll aim to reply within a couple days and go from there.

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