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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Winter 2008

News & Calendar - Winter 2008
Feature - "Proper Care & Feeding of CDs"
Behind the Baton - Director's Thoughts
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CCB/CJB Positions - People in Charge
Contact Information


This edition of Coda Connections features information about compact dics and conducting, plus the normal fun stuff. Enjoy!

For anyone who does not wish to be on the newsletter list, simple use the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of the window to opt out.

I encourage all CCB/CJB fans and members to speak up if there's a particular music-related subject that you would like to see featured in Coda Connections; please remember that your feedback is important to the growth and success of this publication.

Please send me a message if:
- Your email changes and you'd like to keep getting this newsletter, OR
- Someone you know is expecting this newsletter, but is not getting it, OR
- You wish to submit your own writing/comments.


- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar
Winter News
The bands have moved to Oakland Mills High School, in the Steven's Forest neighborhood of Columbia. Please note this change.

The concert band played the Children's Concert last Fall and is ready to entertain you again with some great music for today's concert.

The jazz band continues working on new charts and new gigs.

Winter Calendar - Concert Band
  Sunday, 12/7, 3:00-4:00P.M., Oakland Mills H.S., Columbia, MD
  Date & Time TBA, Oakland Mills H.S., Columbia, MD

Winter Calendar - Jazz Band
Currently no public performances.

by Len Morse (Percussion)   Article Compact Disc
Proper Care & Feeding of Compact Discs

Digital music storage has been wildly popular since the invention of the iPod and similar electronic gadgetry. However, many folks still maintain their treasured CD collections and will not part with these shiny little data holders without a fight. While compact discs once represented a great breakthrough in data storage techonolgy, they no longer seem to be top dog, so you should learn how to keep yours in top condition.

A music CD lasts much longer than a vinyl record or a cassette tape, there are no mechanical parts that wear down or break, and the sound quality is much better. It is a hardy-looking creature, yes, but it is not indestructible. Sometimes you will see misuse or evidence of misuse that will inevitably shorten the life of a disc. So, here are a few tips on CD handling:

1. Only handle the CD by the edge or center hole. Natural oils from the skin are left behind when you touch the play side or label side, and to a degree, this is pretty much the same as pouring molasses on a vinyl album. Your player can not read the data as well and the more this happens, the more likely you'll arrive in "Skip City." The only positive side of this is if you hold the disc so that it reflects the light, you can actually see the fingerprints of the perpetrator who mishandled it!

2. Do not leave a CD in the heat. Exposing a disc to extreme heat or humidity for an extended period (i.e. in your car during summer, near a hot lamp, or at any CCB Summer gig) can damage the reflective layer and physically warp the disc. I'm not sure what that would sound like, but it can't be good.

3. Clean your CD only with a non-abrasive cloth. A soft cotton cloth works well, and be sure to clean both sides of the CD. Any material that leaves lint or pieces of fabric is bad, even a tissue. Also, be gentle and wipe from the center towards the edge. If you don't, you'll be composing the "Sandpaper Sonata". Be careful.

Neglecting CDs is not a crime, but those in the music world (especially musicians) should know better anyway. Take care of your CDs and you'll be listening to your Mozart or Mancini for years to come.

Behind the Baton
by Mike Blackman (Director)   Conductor
"What the Heck is That Guy Doing Up There?"

My wife likes to tell the story of a college friend who, somehow, had never seen an orchestra or band concert until age 20 or so. When she finally went to hear a wind ensemble performance, she giggled uncontrollably throughout the concert, bewildered by the man on the podium who was waving his arms around while the musicians played. We in the Columbia Concert Band do not doubt the high level of sophistication possessed by our audience members, but it has occurred to me that some of you might not know exactly what my job is. Well, I have a few of them. Welcome to "Conducting 101."

My responsibility is mainly to the musicians on the stage, but if you know some conducting basics, you might get a bit more out of the performance. One of my jobs is to keep the music together, from the first note to the last. I dictate the tempo, or speed, of the music by moving my right arm and hand in a pattern that reflects the time signature (meter) of the music. The movement of my arm changes direction on every beat, and a new measure always begins with a downward gesture, regardless of how many beats are in that measure.

As you look at a conductor's right hand, you will usually see him holding a "baton" of about 14 or 15 inches. The job of this implement is to visually amplify the motion of the hand and arm, so that all members of a large ensemble can see what the conductor is doing.

Because my right hand is usually "beating time" for the Band, I try to reserve my left hand for other cues including entrances, releases, note length, heaviness or lightness of pulse, or even an occasional friendly message, like an "OK" sign.

In general, if my arms are moving with large motions, I am asking for more volume from the musicians, while small patterns call for softer playing. I always attempt to maintain good visual communication with the players, so that I know we are all "on the same page."

I try not to stand still - if a tricky section is coming up, I will definitely turn to face the folks who are responsible for playing it. I use all of my "space" to try to convey the mood and tempo of whatever we are playing.

Hopefully these conducting basics will help you to understand a little more about the role of the gentleman or lady on the podium. Let me know the next time you see us! Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting the Columbia Concert Band.


Mike Blackman,
CCB Director

Fun Stuff
Quarterly Word: "Sotto Voce" - A vocal or instrumental direction indicating a subdued tone. Italian: "Under the voice."

Quarterly Quote: "My music is best understood by children and animals." ~ Igor Stravinsky

Official CCB/CJB Positions
Elected Executive Board
Director - Mike Blackman
President - Jeanette Donald
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Carolyn Hipkins
Treasurer - Beth Jubinski
Historian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Chair - Kathleen Shoemaker
Fundraising Chair - Jenn Ambrosiano
Equipment Manager - Scott Lipcon
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Members-at-Large - Linda Baker, Bob Frantz, Tanya Hoegh-Allan, Russell Perkins, Sam Stern

Appointees and Volunteers
CCB-CJB Liason - Jodi Shochet
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - TBA
Uniforms - Bill DeVuono
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams


Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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