BYSO’s Full Online Orchestra is a virtual orchestra for students of all levels and instruments. This orchestra is an opportunity for students to improve their musical skills while learning how to record like the professionals. This online class will work toward a completely virtual performance by the end of the quarter.
All rehearsals are held on Monday evenings via Zoom. Musicians are expected to be prepared and logged in to rehearsal 15 minutes prior to start time. Cameras must be kept ON for the entire duration of the rehearsal session.
Director: Barney Blough
Rehearsal Time: 7:30-8:30 PM
Conductor: Barney Blough
Barney Blough holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance and a Master of Music Education degree from Central Washington University, a Teaching Certificate from Seattle Pacific University, and a Professional Certificate from Pacific Lutheran University. He has served as Music Director of the Seattle Chamber Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Rainier Symphony, and Assistant Conductor of the Lake Union Civic Orchestra. Learn more.
We will not have rehearsal on January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The following week we will be having sectionals with our coaches. Please have your part prepared, and bring your instrument ready to play!
We will be recording Acadia Fanfare in 3 chunks:
Beginning to letter G (53)
Letter G (53) to L (95)
Letter L (95) to the end (125)
Here is a detailed schedule of our rehearsal and recording plans:
January 4 – Rehearsal #1, no coaches, introduction to Acadia Fanfare and the virtual recording process
January 11 – Rehearsal #2, no coaches, discussion and score study of Acadia Fanfare with William White, composer
January 25 – Rehearsal #3, Sectionals: Lin Chen, violin 1; Annie Center, violin 2; Seth May-Patterson, Viola; Erika Fiebig, cello; Abbey Blackwell, bass; Barney Blough, brass; Jenny Ziefel, upper woodwinds; Shannon Nelson, bassoons; Storm Benjamin, percussion; Coach recordings/backing tracks to be distributed to students, students begin recording Section 1 (Beginning to letter G)
February 1 – Rehearsal #4, Section 1 recordings due, begin recording Section 2, (letter G to L)
February 8 – Rehearsal #5, Section 2 recordings due, section 1 recording critique with Will White, begin recording section 3 (letter L to the end), begin recording Section 1 touch ups
February 22 – Rehearsal #6, Section 3 recordings due, Section 1 touch up recordings due, Section 2 recording critique with Will White, begin recording Section 2 touch ups
March 1 – Rehearsal #7, final touch up recordings due, Section 3 recording critique with Will White
Here are the part assignments for Acadia Fanfare:
Acadia Fanfare Project Description
The Winter Quarter Full Online Orchestra recording project will be “Acadia Fanfare” by William White, a local composer who lives here in Seattle. Mr. White will join us in rehearsals to help with score study and rehearsal guidance. Acadia Fanfare for orchestra was commissioned by The Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians as part of the 2016 centennial celebration of Acadia National Park. The commission was supported in part by funding from the Maine Arts Commission. It has an accompanying slideshow of beautiful wildlife pictures from the park which will be used for our final video, which will blend images of our musicians with pictures from Acadia National Park.
Here is a brief overview of the recording process. BYSO students will record their parts as if they were in a professional recording studio. Performance tips will be provided by our coaches in sectionals, and students will be expected to practice their parts thoroughly before they begin recording. Specific instructions for recording both audio and video will be provided in rehearsals. To give you an idea of what we are doing, here is the video that we made during Fall Quarter of “Waltz of the Flowers.” This version is kind of fun because it also includes a message from Lynne Robinson, the Mayor Bellevue, and interviews with some of our orchestra members.
A click track will be used to help us play in the same tempo so our final recordings can be merged together seamlessly. The click track will also include a backing track, which is a model recording that will help us play in tune, with correct rhythm, articulation, and dynamics.
Students will need to have two devices in order to record their parts: a computer to listen to the click track, and a cell phone to record on. They will listen to the click track on their headphones while recording the audio and video of their performance on their phone. They can prop their phone on a table or shelf to record, but they will get the best results if they use a selfie stick attached to a camera tripod. More details will be provided in rehearsal as we prepare to begin recording.
Acadia Fanfare Program Notes Acadia Fanfare was inspired by the natural beauty of and rugged landscape of Acadia National Park, and also by the musical tradition of the Pierre Monteux School, which sits in close proximity to the park itself. The work opens with a depiction of waves beating against the rocky shores of Mt. Desert Island, musically, an homage to Debussy’s “La Mer”. The squalls of seabirds sound in the distance as the day comes alive. The waves grow larger and larger as the musical texture builds to a breaking point, and finally the fanfare theme itself bursts forth in a blinding array of light and mist.
The central section captures the magic and majesty of the park’s interior, and gives the forrest birds a turn to speak. The work concludes by once again evoking the rocky coastal shores of Acadia, as an accretion of birdsong and crashing waves usher in a recapitulation of the fanfare theme leading the work to its triumphant finale.
The Click Tracks folder contains the click tracks that you will need to record your part. We will record in chunks so you can redo your recordings without having to go back to the beginning of the piece. Every section will have 4 to 8 spots to record before we are all done. Some sections have more spots to record than others, depending on their part. Our fabulous sectional coaches have recorded the entire piece for you, and I have added a click track behind them to help you keep track of the beat. I have also added a count off so you will know when to start. Make sure you have your music printed out and that you have practiced carefully before you start recording. Then all you have to do is listen to the metronome and match your coach while you are recording. It’s going to sound great after all our parts are mixed together!
Here is a video with Recording Instructions that explain how you will go about recording your part. I made it last year when we were recording “Greater Than,” but everything we are going to do for “Acadia Fanfare” is exactly the same. When you are finished recording your part you will upload it to the Acadia Fanfare Recording Folder. We will go over this in more detail once we start recording, if you have any questions about how to upload your videos to please send me an email and I will help you figure it out.
Here is a link to the Acadia Fanfare Backing Track that you can use to practice with while you are getting ready to record. You will find it helpful to practice with this recording because it has voice cues to let you know things like when to start, and when to slow down. Practice with this recording frequently, following the conductor and matching the style, rhythm, articulation, phrasing, and intonation that you hear on the recording.
Thursday, January 7 – Hello FOO (Full Online Orchestra)!
Here is the complete docu-dance film “Nutcracker Suites” that features our performance of “Waltz of the Flowers,” which begins at about 1:11:35. This version is kind of fun because it also includes a special performance of the Pas de deux with members of the New York City Ballet, and interviews with some of our orchestra members. Be sure to listen all the way to the end because you are all listed in the credits, along with a reprise of our recording of “Waltz of the Flowers.”