Good Music to put on a Youth Brass Band CD

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Welsheuphoniummanjamie, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Hiya all,

    One of the youth bands I'm playing with at the moment are thinking of doing a CD recording. I was just wondering if anyone had any good suggestions about a some music that could go on ther? Hope to read some good suggestions. Thanks.
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I'm not going to make any specific recommendations, but I'll just reinforce one of the general points I made over in the Guide to Recording thread over in the tMP Library and that's the one of repeated listening.

    It's sometimes tempting to try and stretch yourselves a little too much when you're recording a CD by putting on music that's maybe a little more taxing than the norm. You can usually 'get away' with playing things like that on a concert as it's a single moment in time, but recording them can end up with disappointment when things don't quite come off and you're stuck with it being fairly badly played. In extremis, this can be totally demoralising and it's much better where your CD doesn't have your target audience reaching for the skip track button.

    The other general thing to avoid (and in my experience this is particularly applicable to Youth Bands, although it applies to everyone) is pieces that the Band doesn't like. It sounds obvious, but when you hear a groan go up through the mics when you tell the Band what's coming next you can pretty much tell that the performance of that piece will (probably) be of a lower standard than others. You can literally hear when people are enjoying playing the music you select.

    Good luck with the project - if you've not done it before it can be - and should be - great fun :D
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  3. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    :clap: and this^ is a man who knows his onions.

    When Middleton did their CD a couple of years ago (with the Very Same KMJ :D ) there was a "poll" done of which pieces people would like to put on it - MD still had the final say, but it meant that we didn't end up with anything that the band loathed and (imho) we got a better CD as a result.
  4. jasdrum

    jasdrum New Member

    Choral and Rockout would be a great one, I once played it with our youth band on an Easter Course and it was an enjoyable piece to play for all the band and it is a piece that goes down well with the listener
  5. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    It doesn't seem to bother Willebroek when they record the Bernaerts promo CDs ;)

    My own band did a CD recording for De Haske last year. The publishing company selected the tracks, and although the general level was a bit higher than a Bernaerts arrangement, there were still a number of pieces that most band members (and even our conductor) didn't like very much. But we tried to be "professional" about it, and I still think those pieces sounded good on the CD.

    About the original question: Can you give us a general idea of the level of the band? that might help...
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    There's a difference - in this case you're being employed to do a job and you're required to put your best face forward.

    In the case of self-funded CDs there's pretty much always a tangible difference in the programme material that falls into the either like / dislike category or not quite sure and it's a bit late in the day category.

    Andy's example of the Middleton CD is a good one in that there was an extra piece that got the groans from the Band when the MD attempted to record it. The performance standard was indeed below the rest of the two days playing and, following a back room consultation with the MD, the plug was pulled.

    I did a session a couple of weekends ago where one of Goff's arrangments of show music came out fairly late in the day by which time the Band were tired (understandably as they'd been working very hard all day). The groans are on my continuous backup recorder. They tried running it - and it was apparent very quickly that it wouldn't at that time be anywhere the good work they'd done previously that day. It was put away and something else with a more positive attitude came out and the performance standard went up again. We revisited the Richards piece first thing on the second day of the session - completely discarding the first outing - and the performance standard was where it should've been.....indicating that the mental fatigue needs to be taken into consideration when you choose your programme as well as physical.

    It's easy this producing CDs lark......erm.... ;)
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    That's true and I completely agree, of course
    But still, we're an amateur band, and we didn't get paid that much (I think it was a certain number of CDs for free, free lunch and of course no costs what so ever for the recording).

    But luckily enough we have a very good conductor who knows how to make (almost) every piece fun to play (or at least interesting...) :biggrin:
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    By the same definition, Dyke & Brighouse are also amateur Bands and do the Obrasso samplers....the comments wrt some of them on 4BR's reviews page are illuminating ;) (although their fee may be different than yours - the CDs for serivces rendered used to be a standard though).

    A motivational man in the middle can make all the difference, but it's still easier to make a Band perform under red light conditions when they like the repertoire...

    I think I've driven Jamie off topic far enough, now, but hopefully his Band will get the idea.

    Suggestions, everyone ;)

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