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Anyone else rehearsing 'Christmas Songs' in October?

MikeMorrell

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I'm a member of a small-scale 'Christmas Band' composed of members of a couple of different Big Bands + a couple of add-ons (mainly drums). We have 2 or 3 performances scheduled.The main one is as a 'busking band' in Antwerp and also a concert in a Church in my home town, A 3rd concert looks possible,
It still feels weird (even after so many years) getting together in October to rehearse our 'Christmas repertoire'. But it's still usefull to 'remember' what the previuos repertoire was and to practice a few new numbers.

Anyone else already rehearsing for Christmas?
 

lydian

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Yep. I’ve got 6 Xmas gigs coming up in 5 different bands. If you think rehearsing Xmas tunes in October is bad, I’ve been writing Xmas arrangements for my sax quartet since July.
 

Digger2054

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I've been practicing Happy Birthday recently with several birthdays in close sucession and a request to play for a friends mum. I've also been practicing some Xmas tunes.

Not sure what my Jehovas Whitness neighbours make of it :sax:
 

TJ Kneale

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Michigan
My community choir/band is getting ready for our Christmas concert. I've been singing and playing Christmas music since mid September. By the time the concert date arrives I'll be about Christmas music-ed out.
 

Colin the Bear

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I went into my local B&M bargains at halloween to find Easter stuff on the shelves.
On asking I was told the had sold all the Halloween and Christmas stock. :oops:
 

Sue

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Yep, drives me nuts. By the time we get on the bandstand, I'm sick of them. Our quartet, on the other hand, goes busking at Christmas for the local hospice charity. We never rehearse and just have a blast playing them.
 

thomsax

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Yes. I'm ready for a "Midvinter Blues & Rock Jam ". If we are going to to play "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "Snön Faller", "Merry Christmas Baby", "Please Come Home For Christmas", "Santas Blues", "Help The Poor", "Snart Kommer Änglarna Att Landa", "Christmas Baby Please Come Home" ....... I want to be prepared. Just refreshing the songs on my own. We just play blues and rock songs so the number of songs are limited. Always on the darkest day of the year. This year it's on the 21st of December. The latest "Midvinter Blues & Rock Jam" was in 2018.
 

ESJohn

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Yes, definitely! We have been practicing since mid-October for what, at that time, were two concerts. A third concert was just added as we will be participating in an event in which a number of choirs will be singing. This, I think, will be the first time that a band/orchestra of our size will be involved. We've just lost our best Alto player as he has taken a position in Maryland so there are just two altos and four tenors now when at full strength. The other alto player has some health issues so I may be the lone alto when the concerts begin. It is cool to report, however, that one of our assistant directors will be playing the bari sax in a few of our selections.
 

MikeMorrell

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Yep. I’ve got 6 Xmas gigs coming up in 5 different bands. If you think rehearsing Xmas tunes in October is bad, I’ve been writing Xmas arrangements for my sax quartet since July.
My immediate reaction was 'poor you' but I'm sure your bands will appreciate your 'timely' prep!
 

MikeMorrell

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Yep, drives me nuts. By the time we get on the bandstand, I'm sick of them. Our quartet, on the other hand, goes busking at Christmas for the local hospice charity. We never rehearse and just have a blast playing them.
Hi @Sue, I know the feeling of being sick of the songs when it comes to Christmas! I really like your quartet's approach - just play your best and have a blast!

I found it ridiculous to hold weekly rehearsals for a 'Christmas Band' from 1/2 October onwards. In practice, our rehearsals have dropped to 50% of those planned. But I've found that it's good both for 'old timers' and new players to refresh the arrangements and the previously agreed 'adjustments' to these.

Our 'Christmas Band' is busking (for charity) in Antwerp and also performing in a 'Christmas music' session in a local Church. With another Big Band, we're performing a couple of 'Christmas numbers' at a local skating rink a few days before Christmas.

So I get the fact that in the non-busking performances we don't want to sound awful :)
 
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lydian

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My immediate reaction was 'poor you' but I'm sure your bands will appreciate your 'timely' prep!
Actually, I love arranging and hearing my bands play the result, no matter what kind of music it is. It's an absolute pleasure.

I wish my quartet could pull off a Christmas show without rehearsal like Sue's. But we're only amateurs, and most of our arrangements are quite difficult, for us at least. And I feel since we're getting paid well, we should try to deliver a flawless performance.
 

jthole

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We're basically playing the same setlist as last year (and my other band decided to do a regular concert on the 23rd, no Christmas repertoire), so fortunately we haven't started rehearsing Christmas songs yet.
 

Sue

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@MikeMorrell we (quartet) all play in the same big band and the tunes we play are largely the same as those we've been rehearsing with the full band. On charity days we try and engage the shoppers/passers-by and just have fun.
 

MikeMorrell

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We're basically playing the same setlist as last year (and my other band decided to do a regular concert on the 23rd, no Christmas repertoire), so fortunately we haven't started rehearsing Christmas songs yet.
Haha, my 'Christmas band' too plays basically the same setlist that we've played for the last 10 years! On average, we manage to rehearse 1 or 2 'new' songs each year. But our 'organiser' still schedules (almost) weekly rehearsals from October onwards. Thankfully, almost 50% of these get cancelled because too many members can't make them.

The rehearsals are useful in refreshing/updating 'pencilled in' repeats of specific sets of bars and who's doing which repeated solo's in which order. Because old/new members are all from different Big Bands (who only get together again in the run up to Christmas), there's also a social aspect of 'getting together again' after a year.
 
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