Playing solos in competition or in concert can be a trial of nerves for even the best players let alone the novices that most of us are. I firmly believe though that solo performances are a vital part of player development in that a solo performer gains confidence and improves his or her skills through the additional practice that is required. This in turn can only assist in contributing to the overall standard of the Band. I can think of several bands, the best known being the former Skellerup Band who over the years have led the way with accomplished soloists and this has transferred to a band performance that is consistently at the highest level.
A vital part of the soloist’s performance though is undoubtedly in the hands of the accompanist. A good accompanist assists the soloist, offers sympathetic support to the musicianship of the performer and gives confidence to the player. At Trust Porirua City Brass, we have been fortunate in having good support from quality accompanists in the past and in particular we acknowledge the contributions of Mary Rose Keller and Joan Aitken. This year, the Band has been very fortunate in obtaining the services of Shona Murray B.Mus,LRSM, LTCL, Dip Tchg to accompany our soloists in the coming district and national solo competitions. Shona is of course a music teacher at Tawa College and a highly experienced and talented pianist and we deem ourselves to be fortunate in having her musical expertise to assist us.
As well as Shona, the Band will be using the services of a number of talented accompanists to assist our junior players and we would like to recognise and thank the following people who will serve in this capacity:-
A talented musician who teaches at HIBS in Trentham
Margaret Dawson & Dennis Dawson
A husband and wife team who do so much for the youth band both musically and in an organizational capacity.
A young and promising musician who is also a member of the senior band’s percussion team.
Mary is an Eb Bass player in the senior band and will be accompanying her daughter.
At age 13 Nick is a huge talent on both the cornet and on keyboards.
We can’t thank these people enough and to see particularly the younger players spreading their skills to accompanying soloists, it all points to a bright future and level of musical support for our Brass players.