Rehearsal Notes from 1/7 and for 2/7

We are in the countdown to the final rehearsals for the big Sousa concert 3/7. This is the plan for this Tuesday. Please make every effort to be there and be early if at all possible to warm up and tune as we will start Dies right at 7:00. It's a big goal - no more than 10 minutes per piece:




Light Cavalry - beg

Samson - beg


MN March


El Capitan


St & st

St Sp B

I gave out a lot of notes at the last rehearsal. If you were gone please peruse these. If you were there please review these as I added some notes:


Our opener! Have fun with serious music, dramatic, animated - ala Bugs Bunny!

Exaggerate dynamic contrasts

5 + 11 if you have a rhythm, change to a whole note

Keep the ‘fanfare’ rhythm notes close, space and wait

19 a bit softer

21 add ritard

22 big timpani roll an Ab

A flat city! Tempo around 138

Cut from B to D

F suddenly slower with straight 8ths from BD and CC

9 after f back to faster tempo

Accel to end

Ritard last 3 measures



Form is Intro and 4 sections (repeated sections) - 2 are in 6/8, 2 are in 2/4

Label your music with these 4 sections to follow this cue:

1 brass, pace self, alternate?

1 dynamics!

2 dynamics

3 (2/4) soft!, wait for louds later, add bd & cc accents

3 trumpets out 1st half, clarinets stay in staff

4 1st time – no trumpets, trombones, picc, Efer, perc except sd on rim

4 2nd x as written, start big on pickups found in 1st ending, bells up



Remember, you are accompanying

1 mm=80

12 tenuto

2 b4 A no fermatas

1 b4 A add fermata on ct 2

Theme mm=88

Var I mm=68

B mm=78

Var III just play downbeats (1 and 2) for the next 8 measures, no upbeats)

C mm=66

1 b4 D add fermata on ct 2

cut from D to E

cut 2nd measure from end totally out



Scholarly edition – play as indicated - exaggerate

1 together, wait, explode (throughout piece, e.g 9)

9 tenor and eup must be heard

9 light hearted, fun

10 trumpet 1&2, clar 1 & Efer precise, end together at 11

24 first ending is out – no repeat

26 trumpet 3&4 must be heard, but not louder than 1&2

26 clarinet 1 play lower notes, always

37surprise chord!

41 1st ending is out, no repeat

43 stick clicks high handed, add field drum

50 trumpets watch pitch on low D on pick up

51 clarinets out until 67

51 trombone 1&2 out till 82

51 field drum out till 83

51 keep bass line light

56 trumpets together, not early

58&59 low brass and ww add hairpins

67 increase weight and volume to tier 2

67 add piccs

83 add weight and volume to tier 3

99 all precision – each note clearly attacked and released

99 trumpet 1&2 play out soli

99 trumpet 3&4 2nd time only, then play out

99 play tied notes fully, don’t arrive early

last repeat is good



Play ink with these changes (other pencil is out)

4 sing loud and clear, be animated, move, give fun to audience

5 picc, flute, clarinet – don’t play, sing!

5 b cl, bsn, horns, tuba 1/part

5 percussion light, and sing!

5 sing ‘roosters’ – loud with clear words

10 shout ‘ as big as beer kegs’

13 and on stand on solos as indicated, spring up! Move – find the right person to fill this role!

41 duck call

42 sing and hold ‘OHHHHHH!!!”, then DS back to 5 and sing “mosquitos lay eggs in Minnesota”

after 12 2nd time jump to ‘coda’

43 no ritard

46 add fermata and trombone 1 gliss

47 trumpet mpce stand thing

47 & 48 clarinets out (but do play the last note of 48)




Listen to good quality recordings of these great marches

1sttime thru trio – play it soft, trumpets and trombones out, clarinets stay in the staff, sd pay on rim (no other percussion)

2nd time thru the trio – play it even softer! piccolo, efer, trumpet, trombones and percussion are all out

TROMBONES PLAY BOTH ENDINGS suddenly loud with the low brass and ww!

18 from the end (the last ‘trio’, you might have a 6 marked here, it’s in the middle of the last repeated section where the music is marked FFF) 1st time thru here play it soft with brass one on a part. Pley the first ending loud as well as the entire 2nd time as written.

Play the ‘stingers’ on all these marches accented and full length, never clipped. 



Mad Max – Papa Murphy commercial

With fire! Very dramatic

3 crisp, exaggerate dotted 8th – 16th figure throughout, wait for the 16th (don’t rush it)

WW work your chromatic runs throughout

59 no timpani, replace with a soft bass drum roll

80 bells up, not too fast

95 trumpet timing – don’t go early



Scholarly edition – play as indicated - exaggerate

5 melody don’t rush, bass line don’t drag (edit part?)

22 fl & cl bring out lower note of 8va leaps

91 dotted quarter’s heavier than 8ths 

2nd time thru last repeat (last dogfight and trio):

78 trumpets and bones stand and go quickly to places stage front (stop playing until 95) make room for them, they have only 20”

91 HORNS UP! – match angles

91 no ritard

94 bass drum big pick up to 95

95 brass out front play only forte

109 trumpets hi C only 1 player and only if sure

at end - brass turn and go back immediately



The Star Spangled Banner became our National anthem 100 years ago this year. And it was this Sousa/Damrosch edition that was the official arrangement. Play it exactly as is. Stirring.