Video Conference Recap: Brass Tech Night

Brass Tech Night: March 11, 9 p.m.


Last night,
Director George Hopkins had brass staff members Jarrett Lipman, Steve Bentley and JP Crowley on the line for a talk about all things brass, and - surprise - Caption Supervisor Gino Cipriani joined in to answer listener's questions and talk about The Cadets Hornline.

After Jarrett, Steve, JP and Gino each introduced themselves and told a bit about their drum corps backgrounds and "real-life" professions, George directed the discussion based on listener-submitted questions.

"Tonight we're talking to the guys who spend the most time with the members of the brass section," George began. "They're the ones who are out there every day for hours and hours at a time, and they really get to know the kids on a personal level."

Topics ranged from a day-in-the-life of a Cadets brass player, to the staff's specific approach to blend and balance. Jarrett deconstructed The Cadets' characteristic sound, and JP described the relationship between the marching staff, the brass staff and the members themselves.

"We hear the music in its rawest form," he said, "but we also see the students' faces, and the great physical challenges they face."

A mature staff member realizes that everything cannot be fixed in a day; they must respect the repetitious learning process and make corrections and changes when necessary, while sometimes simply giving members some time to get the music under their fast-moving feet.

SteveAndrew_chat_staff.jpgSteve Bentley ("Stevie B.") was able to answer a question on one of his favorite topics: Tuning and The Cadets' use of a "marking" system which helps tune the hornline efficiently. This approach involves making small, exact marks on each horn's tuning slide. A few times each day, Steve fine-tunes the "tuning group," made up of one member per section. They then report their marks back to their respective sections.

"This approach works very well, but only in the specific circumstances found in drum corps," Steve said. "Every student must be playing on the exact same instrument and mouthpiece." He also emphasized that the marking system does not negate the importance of teaching The Cadets' brass musicians to play in tune in the center of the horn.

Gino and George also discussed the corps' approach to making changes to the program based on achievement and adjudication, giving specific examples from challenges in recent years.



Thanks to everyone who tuned in to last night's video conference. If you have a question that went unanswered on the call, submit it for Ask Me Monday!

Check out the video below to hear a little more from The Cadets Brass Staff, particularly Jarrett Lipman.


If you missed the talk, tune in on Tues., March 18 for another video conference with The Cadets Staff! Click here to read about each one.

Sign up to listen here, and you will receive an e-mail reminder inviting you to the call on Tuesday.


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