View Full Version : Playing with the symphony
01-21-2006, 06:10 AM
Oi... what a headache. We're playing with them tomorrow and at practice last night they asked us to come down a few notches...
Let's just say we're lucky we had OLD chanters to be able to sink that low.
Anybody else have 'fun' with a symphony?
01-21-2006, 12:02 PM
Yes, been there and done that... Only it was solo, not the band. I have been ask to play with our local symphony again this March. It's good to have plenty of set-up time and half dozen rehearsals before the concert. I have an older Warnock band chanter which works for tuning that low. Wishing your group good tuning and good luck.
South Africanpiper VG
01-22-2006, 09:50 PM
Not too many, they look at us with a bit of bewilderment and fear in my previous experiences. Very amusing. I always like the fact they have to sit down and have SHEET MUSIC WITH THEM (LOSERS!!)
In Durban the conductor is a chap called Richard (Dick) Cock, and well...yeah..one can imagine.
But one shouldnt stress too much about such things.
01-23-2006, 05:53 AM
A couple of years back our band and a couple of others travelled to Norway for a week. The organiser wanted an authentic tattoo type thing. We had the pleasure of playing alongside the band of the Swedish Kings Guards and some others whose name escapes me. At our first rehersal we had to play Auld Lang Syne. One bar into it the director of music roared at us to stop. You're playing in B flat, please play it in the correct key. Someone then kindly explained the limitations of the bagpipe to the director.
01-24-2006, 06:39 PM
Well we played well I think. And from audience members it sounded good too. Just funny to strike up with them and then you see the conductor kinda wince. We had to go and check with an oboe for the reading to make sure.
The real neat part was the fact that after when we got to hang out with these guys that they were impressed at how well we were able to sync after one practice. Made them look at us like professions (hooda thunkit?)
01-24-2006, 09:44 PM
Hey Bob, good for you. We as well just did a gig with a symphony and got the same reaction. We rehearsed and got nasty looks even after I tuned down! Needless to say we used old chanters after that and taped every hole stretching down to A 443 or so. Anyway the next rehearsal and even the gig we were bang on. It brought the house down.
And you're right, they appreciated the effort and our dedication. The best compliment we got was from the conductor, "you were so professional" he said. I guess there is hope to break the stereotype of pipeband life yet! or is there...lol
01-25-2006, 04:58 AM
I've played with a symphony and a chamber orchestra. I had to tape like mad and break out some old Ross drone reeds to lower my pitch for the former. The latter decided to raise their pitch to meet me.
02-19-2006, 09:52 AM
I have guested with 3 military brass bands in UK, no problem meeting their pitch with my pipes. Also, no problem marching as long as their base drummer gave it some stick and I could keep in step.
My problem always came when the military bandmaster went to the front of the band to conduct. That waving of a baton just confused the hell out of me.
I thought it was easier to ignore him and try and play in time with those around me.
I am afraid it wasn't!!