I never was in band growing up, so when I was asked to attend a Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble rehearsal in advance of its February 18 performance, I had no idea what to expect.
As an athlete (rubgy), I know exactly what most practices are like: warm up, do some drills, scrimmage, then cool down and stretch. The rehearsal was not that different so it was fun to see how musicians practice their own exercises. I watched the first part of the rehearsal and was there when all of the musicians were warming up their instruments and bodies. The different sounds and notes made no sense musically but it sounded lively and exciting.
Leading the first part of rehearsal was Vanich Potavanich, a guest conductor and composer from the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. He was animated and silly in rehearsal. It was as if his main goal was to make sure everyone felt comfortable and was having fun. Potavanich cracked a few jokes and told the ensemble the song they were rehearsing should sound “like pop music,” but not quite. From the first run through of the song, the DCWE sounded great, and I could definitely tell they were excited to play the repertoire of their guest conductor. The show on Sunday promises to be just as exciting, and to feature that same friendly rapport between Potavanich and the ensemble.