Solo Disasters

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mr Smiler, May 2, 2003.

  1. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    I may be opening a Pandora's Box here, but has anyone had a real disaster in the middle of a solo?

    Let me share mine. I was playing RSA's "The Conqueror" at a packed Easter concert in Nottingham when towards the fast bit at the end, my first valve froze in the down position, completely without warning!

    I had to stop the band, rushed over to the second euph player who looked bewildered as I grabbed his euph, we picked up the introduction to the fast section again and finished the piece.

    The worst bit was the sinking realisation that I could do nothing about it.

    It was pretty embarassing. :oops: :oops: :oops:

    I'd be interested to hear other stories
  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Playing at an old peoples' home (can't remember what - it was quite a few years ago!)

    Halfway through the solo, an elderly gentleman got up and walked all the way round me. My only concern was that he didn't get between me and the music or knock it over :)

    The band, however, had real problems getting through the tutti passages for laughing...
  3. twigglet

    twigglet Member

    About six years ago we were playing Dances with wolves, and if anyone is familiar it starts with a cornet solo with very little accompaniment, the cornet solo ends with a leap from an Eb to a top Bb. Every week in rehearsal they bet whether I would get it or not and every week I got it. (£££!) and then when it came to the concert I totally made a big balls of it! :oops: It was really embarrassing because it was so exposed, and ever since I have been terrified of playing it again....

    Lovely Roger got it out a few months ago (thanks Rog!) and it went OK in the concert but I am so paranoid about it now

  4. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    Well this hasn't happened to me at a concert but I do have a similar story which was really embarrasing.

    I went along to a rehearsal for the uni brass group in notts (admittedly to try and scab a few players for our band). All enthusiastic I sat down to play the first piece. Can't remember what the piece was but it started on an F#. I played the F# but then my valve wasn't going to move! On the first note as well :oops: I stopped playing and tried to get it to free but it wasn't going to budge. The conductor carried on and at the end of the piece asked me what was wrong. My cornet then got passed around every single member of the band but to no avail. The MD eventually decided their was no hope and gave me his trumpet to play on. Not the same as it happening in a solo performance but I really did feel a fool all the same!! :oops: :shock: :oops: :shock:
  5. Highams

    Highams Member

    Not exactly a disaster, but hilarious for the band and audience.

    Hanwell were playing in Waterlow Park, London, in a bandstand with a very low wooden roof. Just as I got up to play Varied Mood, a flock of birds descended into a nest and started chirping away like mad.

    It was'nt too bad to start with, but by the time the long cadenza came around, it was deafening.
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Nothing very spectacular, and not a stand-up solo either, but I did have the tuning slide fall out in the middle of the couple of bars of EEb bass solo in Gregson's Variations on Laudate Dominum - we were having terrible tuning problems, and the tuning slide was as far out as it would go - in retrospect, obviously, too far out.
  7. Boneman

    Boneman Member

    Two cock ups!
    Once I forgot the music (but didn't realise until after I had been introduced) - I don't know who panicked most me or the Conductor (our very own Roger - thanks for whispering the notes to me!)

    Once half way through my Music fell off the stand!
  8. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Worst solo performance - there are two!

    My flugel debut last week - halfway through Orange Juice the 3rd valve water key gets caught on the button of my jacket so play rest of piece with flugel attached to uniform! The *bleep* unattached itself on the last note!

    In September I was playing with Wilsden Band and suddenly had Solitaire sprung upon me (like you do). Just as I was about to hit the first note in a nice informal performance during the Garden Association's show, this old Doris (apologies to anyone called Doris on this forum!) suddenly says VERY LOUDLY to her mate,

    "Hey, that doesn't half look like my dentist!"

    The band spluttered did I....

    Rach x
  9. Mr Smiler

    Mr Smiler Member

    This is great - its like an online band version of "You've been framed".

    Nice to know I have soul mates out there ....

    Just remember to all you who are laughing at us poor unfortunates, next time (cue large index finger) IT COULD BE YOU!!!
  10. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    OK, where shall I start??

    Shall we talk about the time when I was starting off Sailors Hornpipe on Xylophone and completely blanked, couldn't remember what the music was or even what instrument I was supposed to be playing. Euph player to his eternal credit realised my predicament and busked it note perfect while I crawled under said xylophone and hid.

    Or should we talk about the time I was helping a band out playing for an international football match in Wrexham, playing trombone. NAtional Anthems start (I know Wales was one of the teams but can't remember the other one), couple of bars rest and then trombone comes in and carries the tune. Problem was, as it was in February, my trombone slide had frozen up and I couldn't shift it!!

    Or should I talk about the time I was playing at a VERY informal Jazz concert on trombone. 2 beats before his very high and complex solo starts, the solo trombone player leans over to a mate of mine and says "You play it will you? I'm too p***ed"

    That will do for starters, if I think of any more, I'll continue

  11. Quite the opposite!

    I'd recently changed from using a tenor horn mouthpiece to the french horn mouthpiece with a shank.....and I had to play some solo in our annual the rehearsal I SUCKED! And this girl (no names mentioned) had this smug grin on her face. She must have gone home in between and told her parents about me playing so badly, but anyway! The concert came. And it was pretty good, if I do say so. I wasn't looking, (concentrating see!) but a friend of mine told me that little miss smug face and her parents were both going :O *sniggers*
  12. But one time, on NYBBW I knocked a stand over when we were doing one of our fancy manouvers and I was so scared (Jim Watson was conducting and it was my first course!) and I tried to smile it off but it turned into a laugh and everyone got annoyed with me :( and I cried (shh!)
  13. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I was playing Hora Staccato in Greenwich Park when my music blew away. Not a problem - smart a*** here could play it from memory. (Pause for round of applause). No problem that is, until the whole band missed the coda. Utter bandemonium for about 2 minutes until conductor shouts 'CODA' and we all end up in a heap.

  14. HAHAHA!!! What a word!
  15. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    The most embarrassing moment was when I was about 15. I was taking part in a may day parade in my home town. All my friends from school were on the side of the road watching when I caught my foot in a pothole on the road. I was left sprawled out in the middle of the road. I had to finish the march with great big holes in the knees of my tights, bleeding nose and bleeding knees. I didn't live it down at school for months.
  16. stopher

    stopher Member

    National Anthem nightmares!

    Had to conduct the National Anthems for the Wales U19 match against France in Bangor last year. I was told that I would hear the announcement saying "would you please be upstanding for the National Anthems" and then pile in with La Marseillaise then Hen Wlad.


    Heard the announcement so got the band to lift their instruments. Most of the band moaning and telling me to wait but being Zorro for the night and desperate to get to the bar before most of the crowd, I told them to get on with it and brought them in.

    At the end of La Marsaillaise, one of the officials comes running up!

    Because I had my back to the two teams and the crowd, I hadn't realised that when the announcement had been made about the anthems, Both teams were just leaving the Changing rooms and weren't on the pitch!

    We had to play La Marseillaise again with a crowd of 1500 wondering why we played the French one twice. The Male voice Choir with us were p@ssing themselves laughing and couldn';t concentrate when we did Hen Wlad.

    Seemed to work though as Wales Hammered the French!

    Everytime we do a job now where the anthem is needed, some bright spark always quips do we need to do it twice (they're usually in the bass section!)

  17. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Solo disaster!!

    Try the Sop Solo from Windows to the World...

    Any of the MCB crowd who visit the forum will verify that it was quite a spectacular event in a kind of 'negative' way.....



    Ex-Sloprano Cornet
  18. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I was conducting a euphonium solo once (in a church) when the soloist's mum crawled up to the front on her hands and knees to tell the soloist his flies were undone.

    The solo? Grandfather's Cock, oops Clock.

  19. The Judge

    The Judge Member

    Re: Solo disaster!!

    Hey Dave

    Dwelling on such disasters isn't good for you, we've all been there!! Having said that, even if you forget about it there's always someone in MCB who'll remind you soon enough. Bunch of PTBs :wink:

    Good to hear from you anyway!!

    See you in Dundee???
  20. Sueee

    Sueee Member

    beurgh... hehe

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