As a former student at the Junior school, I was really looking forward to returning to the RNCM and seeing some of my friends.
The first event of the day was a massed percussion ensemble performing ‘Hidden Treasure’. When I was a student here we had used this as an ice-breaker at the start of the year so as to gauge everyone’s sight-reading and technical ability. So, it was a welcome blast from the past, especially as I was paired up with one of my friends from the Junior school on vibraphone (before being moved onto marimba 1).
After the ensemble, it was time to unload all our gear. We set up, and then had a nice, relaxed sound check and rehearsal to make sure everything works properly. Rick and I had put new skins on the tenors the night before, so we spent a bit of time making sure they were all tuned properly.
Next came the fun part. We opened the doors and welcomed a diverse crowd of percussionists into our clinic on ‘The Who, What How and Why of Marching Percussion’. This involved demonstrating a couple of exercises from our warm up book, before running chunks of show music.
I spent most of the day manning the drums, as we left them near all the trade stalls so that anyone interested could come and have a play. Perhaps putting new skins on was a bad idea, as all the drums took a pounding from hordes of kids!
When the evening concert rolled around, we decided to pack the pit equipment on the truck and only perform with the battery, so that we could streamline getting on and off the stage. This meant the audience wouldn’t get the whole picture unfortunately, but for a 10 minute slot it was a sacrifice we had to make!