Junior/Senior MYWE Concert Interview with Diego Bacigalupe!

Today we had the chance to talk with one of Senior MYWE’s musicians, Diego Bacigalupe! He gave us some insight on some of the pieces that will be played as well as some of the difficulties that came in preparation of the Junior and Senior MYWE combined concert.

What have been the challenges of this program and how have you grown as a musician from these challenges?

The most challenging part of preparing Sunday’s program is mastering the music with the limited rehearsal time. We only meet as a group once a week, making it difficult for us to learn a lot of music. This has forced us to prepare diligently for rehearsals, focus during rehearsal, listen and adjust to each others playing. Even with limited and scattered rehearsal time, we can efficiently learn music to perform.

What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

I’m most looking forward to hearing Jr. MYWE play their music and play with us. Live wind ensemble performances don’t happen often so hearing another group play similar music is a rewarding experience. I also can’t wait to perform with Jr. MYWE because the combined group will sound amazing. When I was in Jr. MYWE, I would have loved the opportunity to play with Sr. MYWE.

Pick your favorite piece on the program. What does that piece mean to you?

My favorite piece on the program is Eric Whitacre’s October; I love the colors he evokes. This piece is special to me and many others in Sr. MYWE because we played it back when we were in Jr. MYWE. Playing it again after we’ve developed into more mature musicians is an amazing experience.  The fact that we’re playing this piece in a combined Jr./Sr. MYWE concert brings it full circle.

Is there an experience with music that inspired you to be a musician?

When I was 7 years old, I remember visiting my grandfather while my family was in Spain. He played jazz cornet with his friends in a band and I remember watching him perform for people on the street as a hobby. I thought it was so cool that he could do this for fun with his friends and entertain strangers on the street so from then on, I always wanted to be a musician.

What is your favorite piece of music?

I don’t have an all-time favorite piece because I love so much music, but right now my favorite pieces are Respighi’s Pines of Rome, and Chabrier’s España.


Victoria Hain and YPO’s February 19th Concert

935366_10151483046122426_1286153648_n

We had a chance to speak with Victoria Hain, percussionist for YPO.  Be sure to check out YPO on February 19th in Jordan Hall! Here’s what she had to say:

What have been the challenges of this program and how have you grown as a musician from these challenges?

I think a unique challenge I’ve had to face as a percussionist is playing a range of dynamics on an instrument like crash cymbals. Soft crashes are always a struggle as a result of the weight and size of the crash cymbals.

What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

I am most looking forward to the Sibelius Violin Concerto because, out of the parts I have this cycle, I play the most in the Sibelius.

Pick your favorite piece on the program. What does that piece mean to you?

My favorite piece is John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby. It is a different kind of music than our orchestra nominally plays which is exciting. It reminds me of the 1920s and the music from Toy Story, making the listening experience almost nostalgic.

Is there an experience with music that inspired you to be a musician?

When I was in fourth grade the high school band toured all the elementary schools and showed off all the instruments in an attempt get younger kids interested in music lessons. I was fascinated by the kid who was playing drum set and I really wanted to become a rock n’ roll drummer. Ironically enough, throughout my 9 years as a percussionist I’ve studied almost exclusively classical, seldom touching the drum set.

What is your favorite piece of music?

My favorite piece of music is Hoagy Carmichael’s Heart and Soul because pretty much everyone knows how to play it, so it’s always fun to goof around on various instruments and make music with friends.


Looking forward this Sunday’s Youth Symphony concert with Edward Yeo

Edward Yeo shares his excitement and enthusiasm about the upcoming YS performance on January 25th!

maxresdefaultys

What have been the challenges of this program and how have you grown as a musician from these challenges?

YS has helped me by being able to play as principal, giving me solos to help
me get used to be playing alone to the public. It has also helped me by getting to know more standard repertoire and pushing my technical and musical boundaries like Firebird.

What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

I’m looking forward to playing the Rhapsody in Blue and Nabucco, because I love jazz and opera!

Pick your favorite piece on the program. What does that piece mean to you?

My favorite piece has to be Nabucco because of the chorus part. Nothing sounds better than an orchestra and choir singing together, because it adds a depth of color and meaning to the music.

Is there an experience with music that inspired you to be a musician?

There are many things and people that have inspired me to be a musician and to stick with it, there is no one experience or person. Those who inspired me are Kinhaven, Stokes Forest Music Camp, Martin Fröst, Herbert von Karajan, Charles Yassky, David Herndon, Dave Sapadin and Richard Shaughnessy.

What is your favorite piece of music?

My absolute favorite piece without a doubt is Death and Transfiguration by Strauss. I played principal for that piece and said, “I could play this piece for 10 lifetimes and still not get sick of it.” I do want to try bass clarinet on that piece also.


Anusha Manglik’s perspective on Senior MYWE

Last week NEC Prep spoke with Anusha Manglik, who gave us some of her thoughts on the upcoming Senior MYWE concert (last Sunday).

What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

I’ve been looking forward to this performance for a long time; the only bad thing about performing is the month’s break after. Your average person doesn’t understand ensemble music that well, the bigger part of the population. They think it’s just scratches on a page with the conductor just waving his arms around trying to put together this motley array of people moving their fingers and tapping their toes. But this performance, I think, is going to show people that there’s more to that in music. It may be only a wind ensemble concert for someone’s kids or someone’s friends when those people walk in, but when they walk out, they’ll feel completely different. They’ll be amazed by what a decent-sized ensemble of high school kids did in just a few months. I know this because that’s how I felt, the first time I came out of a MYWE rehearsal. I want to share that love of music, and the excitement of playing in what I think is the most beautiful hall to exist, with the crowd.

What have been the challenges of the program in rehearsal?

After being in MYWE for a few rehearsals and haphazardly trying to read the celebration on the page in front of me, I realized I had to practice my music with a metronome. My first thought was, a metronome? Do I even own one of those? I ended up practicing my music for longer and longer times, and sometimes playing with recordings, sometimes just hearing it out myself. I’ve seen more sixteenth notes in a row that I’ve seen in my life in MYWE, sextuplets, quarter notes tied to triplets tied to eighth notes. I had to work on focusing on blending myself with everyone else, and as a trombone player, that’s a little hard because there are so few of us compared to upper woodwinds and trumpets. I go into rehearsals feeling energetic and come out feeling exhausted, in a good way.

How have you grown as a musician from these challenges?

To play in MYWE, you really have to be cognizant of the small things that bring the music from average to above. That’s what makes us special. You can’t miss a marcato, a ritardando, or the smallest of dynamic changes, because even if you’re playing whole notes the entire time, you count. From rehearsal, I learned what to open your ears meant; it’s one of those things you only know how to do when it happens. I remember my first day in Jr. MYWE; I was in eighth grade, and was so excited, but when everyone started playing, I realized that I had to practice. I did not like practicing. After the first few minutes, I could barely hear myself: it was then I decided I needed change. The first day of Sr. MYWE was a lot different. When you play with such an ensemble, you realize that there’s more to music than just playing it. Now I can feel it, I can see it.

Pick your favorite piece on the program. What does that piece mean to you?

Honestly, I love all our pieces, but there was one at the beginning that stuck out to me, for some reason. It may be the least rhythmically technical piece we’re playing, but October is my favorite. There’s a certain beauty that comes from higher-level musicians playing a simpler piece. Everyone in our ensemble understands how the piece moves, and if I look around while we’re playing it, I can see everyone in sort of a trance, all swaying together a little. It’s playing these perfectly harmonized put-together chords that send shivers down my spine every time. What that means to me is not something I can put in words, it’s a feeling, almost like you’re full when you listen to it. You’re full, but you want it again, and again, and again. It relaxes every single muscle in your body, almost like you’re floating. October is the one piece that I enjoy every single note, measure, and phrase of, and it’s nothing but love.


Maria D’Ambrosio’s Senior MYWE Highlights and Challenges

MYWE

NEC Prep had the opportunity to ask Maria D’Ambrosio about the upcoming Senior MYWE performance this Sunday.

What are you most looking forward to about this performance?

“What has set MYWE apart for me from the very beginning has been the intense dedication that every ensemble member brings to the rehearsal, and I feel that that passion is reflected and conveyed through our every performance. Every time we’re in Brown on Friday afternoons and Mr. Mucci calls out “Jordan Hall, guys,” it becomes increasingly clear that there’s a mindset that accompanies being in our grand, majestic concert space. Not only does this mindset encapsulate the feelings of raw emotion evoked through past performances that veteran members can draw on, but it also signifies that essentially every rehearsal is a performance, and thus every performance a rehearsal. I couldn’t be happier to share our final rehearsal with our family, friends, and community.”

What have been the challenges of the program in rehearsal?

“You probably wouldn’t think “You sound like a very good high school band” would be an insult. Sometimes we’ll find as individuals and as an ensemble that we struggle to meet the high standards set for us and that we essentially set for ourselves. Specifically, we often address intonation and rhythmic cohesion within sections as well as the greater picture, learning that what may seem like minute passage work can have large contributions to the piece as a whole. I feel, though, that our greatest challenge is not only transcending the image of your quintessential high school band, but endurance. “Chops,” as we brass players often call it. It can apply not only to MYWE, but to any young musician faced with an hour of heavy-hitting playing. It definitely applied to our Mahler 1 program in YPO last month. Healthcare may call us the “young invincibles” but learning to healthfully push our limits is an ongoing challenge.”

How have you grown as a musician from these challenges?

“Through associative learning, we learn to establish connections between two stimuli. Generic definition aside, math calculated, every week I spend about 225 minutes in Period A Band room at Plymouth North. MYWE rehearsals last, after Thanksgiving, 150 minutes. The learned association of performing at a high school band level is therefore naturally stronger than that of exceeding the standard every Friday in Brown Hall and the number one clinically-proven way to kick this in the shins? (This, folks, is where the answer to the question actually comes in!)

If we take that which we learn that helps us most to grow, the aforementioned “Jordan Hall mindset,” and take that with us when we commute back to our various high schools across the state, we won’t simply grow as musicians. We can not only use the particular way of thinking in our own practice, but use it to help others, our friends, fellow musicians, peers. We’ll grow as people.”

Pick your favorite piece on the program. What does that piece mean to you?

“Oh boy this is a tough one. Wow. Each piece has so many different redeeming qualities.

My favorite piece on the program is “October” by Eric Whitacre, and among the reasons for my choice I have an anecdote from a few weeks’ worth of rehearsal.

We started the 2014-2015 MYWE season on September 12th. As customary at our inaugural rehearsal, as well as first post-concert rehearsals with new repertoire, we run through the pieces in what will probably become concert order. After playing through Peter Menin’s “Canzona,” we found the Whitacre on our stands next. Well, as we soon discovered, there were no wind chimes to be found in Brown Hall. Come the week after, there were still no wind chimes, in a piece that opened with this often seemingly insignificant piece of percussion.

October has furthered my appreciation for each individual instrument as pieces comprising the larger MYWE puzzle, from the serene wind chimes and wistful oboe solo sitting upon rich low winds, to (shameless plug) the soaring horn lines nearing the piece’s glorious conclusion. Every instrument truly has their say in the conversation that this work creates as it unfolds before the audience.”



TO PLAY WITHOUT PASSION IS INEXCUSABLE! LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN