choosing soloists

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sparkling_quavers, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    How does your band choose your soloists? When is it the 'right-time' for an older 100% committed principal to step down for younger blood?
  2. Highams

    Highams Member

    Back in the 70's I had been sitting no.2 euphonium at Hanwell next to the great John Luckett and was itching to get the top chair.

    I had already been doing stand up solos on bandstand jobs and we shared a lot of the solo parts in band numbers as well.

    Then out of the blue, I turned up at a rehearsal (Barabara Stone was MD) and there he was sitting in my chair. He said I had earnt the place not only as a player but as a bandsman. I found out he had kept a private note of my attendances at rehearsals !

    When I applied for the Sun Life position it was by audition only. When Lyn Baglin returned 2 years later we ALL moved down 1 chair.
  3. Owen

    Owen Member

    In my band, anyone who is daft enough to volunteer can play a solo, but typically in a concert where we are not sharing the bill, we feature cornet, horn, flugel, euph, baritone and percussion (xylo).

    There have been occasions where soloists have been presented with a piece to play if they have not been quick enough in making a suggestion of their own!
  4. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    I asked and asked and asked to do a solo in my first band and was not allowed to do so for what felt like ages. Finally got my chance to do My Love is like a Red Red Rose with East Yorkshire Brass - just by nagging...

    First performance, AMAZING

    played the same piece, same venue, one week later and well... its was memorable... but not quite for the right reasons... :(

    Anyone else "died" on stage when soloing? (or within a band?)
  5. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I was playing "Sylvia" by Roy Newsome at a local school contest and "I" wasn't the problem --------- ½ way through my piece the pianist realised she'd forgotten half of her music ----- so I had to start again!!!! :D:D:D:D :lol: :lol:!

    Ben ;)
  6. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I think that if the player can consistently perform well on the stage then there should be no reason for them to move down, although you could argue that if there was a new young talent, then that talent could be better nurtured with a very strong, experienced 2nd man down to offer advice and support to them.

    If the player has lost their old sound and possibly confidence, then they should seriously consider stepping down as the situation wouldn't do them or the band any good at all. If a band cannot have confidense in its prinicipal cornet player then issues have to be addressed
  7. Boneman

    Boneman Member

    I remember the first time I did a solo with my current band - I practised for ages - bu twhen it came to play my music was at home on my stand - i didn't realise until the conductor was introducing me

    Do you remember that Roger?
  8. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    :lol: :lol: Thats the sort o' thing you see in those comedy sketches!!
  9. Owen

    Owen Member


    I am confident that you had of course got the part committed to memory by then.......?
  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    There appear to be two different questions here, one being who sits in what chair in the band, and secondly, who plays solos in concerts/pieces. There can obviously be problems when you have two or more players of a similar standard competing for the same part, especially if one has arrived from another band. If there is goodwill between the players concerned, they should be able to share out the work, regardless of who is actually occupying the end seat. There is no reason why a stand-up solo should not be taken by any player in the band who is capable, and I am sure the end man would be glad to be out of the spotlight once in a while.

    Sometimes, of course, there are also audience considerations to be met, and if you go along to see one of the top bands, I am am sure you would be disappointed if none of the "name" players were on the programme, but that is why you should ring the changes. You also, of course, have a number of people around who are excellent front row players, but who do not want the pressure that comes with being end man, and it is interesting to note how many vacant principal cornet chairs are filled by those who have previously been playing rep.

    I realise that at times banding can be somewhat of a cut-throat business, particularly if a band has shot up through the sections, and is wanting to do all it can to retain their new-found status. I just wish sometimes that more could be done to try to encourage existing players to improve, rather than importing newcomers, so that it becomes the same band in name only.
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    ... and one such player that I know of is the excellent Nigel Guy. He was solid on Rep for Tredegar for ages then went onto Principal for a while. He then went to Flowers but I'm not sure where he is now. Great Rep player... and excellent Principal Ct player....

  12. BoozyBTrom

    BoozyBTrom Member

    its pretty much shared out in our band. Mostly A player will get on thier feet and do a solo spot and the next item is a trio or section feture. where they are all on thier feet.

    Although Im sick of the nuns outfit for i will follow him now.
  13. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Now I'm sure Shakespeare had something to say on this.... what was it...oh yes!

    Some are born soloists, some achieve solos and others have solos thrust upon them!

    Or maybe I misquoted that! :)

    Rach x
  14. Boneman

    Boneman Member


    I did my best to play the solo from Memory - Roger Thorne, a regular contributor to this site was conducting - he kept wispering the notes to me to help me along!!

    The best part was that half of my family had turned up to see me - I could see them gradually disappearing into their seats in embaressment
  15. I got to do my first solo with a band (EVER!) in November.....I think he let me do it cos he likes to give everyone a chance :)
  16. Sarahjo

    Sarahjo New Member

    In our concert programme the old faithful solists appear like Cornet, Trom, Horn, Flug etc, but our conductor also likes to give the up and coming stars of LHMBB the chance to shine (whatever instrument), and boy do they shine!!!!!! :D :lol:
  17. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    Nigel is playing repiano for BAYV.........been there since Bob Childs took over
  18. Valvecap

    Valvecap Member

    Once saw a trombonist stand up to play a riff in a piece - very amusing - he stood up, blew the first note....

    Then swore really quite loudly as he had the slide safety still on - slide didnt budge.

    Band and Audience clapped politely......
  19. one_careful_owner

    one_careful_owner New Member

    When I was playing with the school band we had a slow melody contest. I was playing Stardust and I remember, near the end, I had seven bars rest during which I discovered that my nose had decided to turn into a blood fountain and leak all over my face and trombone. Lovely.

    Cue oco offering the shallowest bow ever seen before sprinting off stage.

    Never liked solo's since funnily enough.....
  20. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    I don't suppose it was a concert at Blackrod Conservative Club was it?? ;) ;)

    Cos I did a scratch band there where exactley the same thing happened...
    The solo trom (Steven Breen, now at Pem) was playing some Scandinavian solo (cant remember which offhand..) and the conductor announced him as the world famous Norwiegan soloist "Sven Breen" who didnt speak a word of english, he stood up, played the 1st note (which was in closed position :)) then tried to move the slide, but his safety catch was on!!! he then stated "the F word" quite loudly, and in the awkward silence that followed, you could hear an old lady remarking how quickly he had picked up the language!!! absolutely hilarious!!!

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