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Coda Connections
Columbia Band Fans' Quarterly Newsletter
Fall 2010

CONTENTS
News & Calendar - Fall 2010
Feature - Columbia Jazz Band--Euroband 2010 Tour
Fun Stuff - A few words about...
Official CB Positions - People in Charge
Contact Information

Greetings!

Welcome to a special edition of Coda Connections, which features a summary of the Columbia Jazz Band's European tour this past July. The CJB's director was good enough to provide not only the itinerary, but some of his thoughts and feelings on the musical (and other) aspects of the trip, so I decided to make this article a combination "Feature Article/Director's Musings" type of offering.

For those readers who are loyal concert band fans, we thank you. Please do give this a read, however, and perhaps imagine yourself accompanying the jazz band through northern Europe.

As always, the Calendar, Fun Stuff, and CB Positions sections have been updated. Enjoy!

--------------------

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

Please send me a message if:
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Thanks!

- Len Morse, Editor

News & Calendar
 

Fall News

The concert band's annual Catonsville concert was rained out, but they played an excellent program at the Columbia Lakefront. See the feature article to learn what the jazz band has been up to. The calendar shows each group's public performances.

Fall Calendar

September:
  Sun, 9/19, 3:00PM, Concert Band at River Hill High School, Catonsville, MD
    (2:00 instrument petting zoo, 3:00 Young People's "Water Music" Concert)

Feature
by Peter Barenbregge (Jazz Band Director)     Saxophonist
Columbia Jazz Band-Euroband 2010 Tour

Rehearsals for the "Euroband" as it was referred to began in May. The challenge was to become familiar with the many new arrangements and at the same time, to "imagine" a full band sound with two trumpet parts missing. These rehearsals were clearly productive as the band began to musically come together with the charts. The final three rehearsals prior to departure were marathons--the band worked hard to get all the music sounding solid and musical for the tour. We finally had a complete band with all the parts including trumpeters John Wilson from Montana (returning from our 2008 tour) and Andrew Surmani from Los Angeles on lead trumpet.

A tremendous thanks to Tanya Hoegh-Allan for acquiring use of space at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Fulton, MD. This rehearsal space was a life saver as the school facility was not available. After the final rehearsal, the musical challenge became maintaining our ensemble focus (and chops) until the first gig, five days away on Sunday.

The tour! The group on the tour consisted of a total of 50 people-20 performers and 30 wonderful and supportive spouses, friends and family who joined us for the adventure.

Thursday, July 8: Departure was from BWI at 9 pm arriving in Amsterdam on Friday, 3 pm local time. At Schiphol Airport as we exited customs, we met our tour manager, Patrick Fargier. The next morning we met our official tour bus driver, Phillip, who we quickly discovered was amazing--friendly, courteous, funny and a world-class bus driver.

Friday, July 9: The Novotel Hotel was nice and located just outside the city center. We had dinner at the hotel and some people took the nearby tram into the city center, but most were tired from the trip.

Saturday, July 10: We began the day in Amsterdam with a hotel breakfast buffet followed by some sightseeing. The first stop was the Rijksmuseum; featuring the works of Rembrandt and other artists from the Dutch Golden Age, followed by a bus tour of the city, then lunch on our own. The afternoon offered various walking tours on our own, some to include the area around Old Church (De Oude Kerk). Next was a canal cruise, then the tour of the Anne Frank house. (Note: the famous 150 yr old chestnut tree just outside the house was recently felled by a storm.) And after all that, we enjoyed dinner at the Haesje Claes Restaurant.

Sunday, July 11: Gig day. The first performance was at the Hotel de Roskam in Gorssel, a small town approximately 108 km from Amsterdam. This venue was not ideal for a big band concert, with the band set up on a gravel patio. We endured and got the first gig under our collective belt. The second concert that day was at the De Waag Restaurant in Doesburg, another small but very quaint town. It was a very crowded stage...and hot. Sunday was also the day of the World Cup finals with Netherlands and Spain competing in this final game, which proved to be serious competition for an audience that day. Once again, the band hung tight and endured, then had a nice meal at the De Waag.

Monday, July 12: We're off to Bruges (Brugge). Along the way we stopped at the Delft pottery factory in Delft, Netherlands, which included an interesting factory tour of this distinctive blue and white pottery. Upon arriving in Bruges, we discovered a spectacular and beautiful city! Patrick provided an excellent walking tour followed by a canal cruise, both very enjoyable. That evening, we had another wonderful meal for all at Maximilliaan van Oostenrijk Restaurant in Bruges.

Tuesday, July 13: We drove to Calais, France for the Eurotunnel crossing to Folkstone, UK. The Eurotunnel was a unique experience. All vehicles and people travel in train (freight) cars. Observing our highly-skilled bus driver Phillip steer the huge bus into what appeared to be a small opening into a train car seemed like an impossible task, but he pulled it off effortlessly. The ride in the tunnel was smooth and quiet and about 35 minutes later, we emerged in the UK. Upon arriving in London, we had a bus tour of London with Prudy, a local tour guide. She pointed out many well-known London highlights such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, and so on. We then checked in to our hotel, the Jurys Inn Chelsea.

Wednesday, July 14: Gig day. The first concert was at the Embankment Gardens, a beautiful park along the Thames. The weather was cloudy with occasional rain. The audience was a variety of people ranging from tourists, locals and business people on their lunch hour. All in all, in spite of the weather, this was a good venue and a successful gig. The band is improving significantly at each performance--thinking and phrasing together to produce a mature and polished ensemble sound.

FYI, from the beginning of the tour, bass player Randy Malm volunteered to coordinate our rental equipment for the rhythm section for each city and venue. This task became quite a challenge to ensure we had the right equipment that would function properly. The band owes a huge thank you to Randy for doing an amazing job communicating, organizing and personally following up on every move with the local rental music shop in London. Randy was totally dedicated to this task and did this for every venue for the tour.

The second gig that day was at a somewhat famous jazz club, the Bulls Head Tavern in Barnes, just outside of London proper. This venue offered another tight squeeze on the stage and some technical challenges due to our live radio broadcast on UK jazz radio. The band sounded great! Our non-performing tour members always provided an excellent audience and fan base at each venue. Many offered assistance throughout the tour. A special thanks to Bob Franz (Sr.) who personally took care of the music stands, managing and moving the case, setting up and taking down the Columbia Jazz Band stands at every performance. Another thank you goes to Shirley Franz for promoting and handling our CDs at each venue.

Thursday, July 15: A busy sightseeing day. Some more bus touring followed by a tour of Windsor Castle with a different and much improved local tour guide and then dinner at the Marlborough Head Restaurant in the city.

Friday, July 16: We bid farewell to London and traveled to Manchester. Arriving in Manchester, we enjoyed an afternoon of sightseeing in the city center to include a visit to the Manchester Cathedral followed by a canal cruise. Dinner was at the Beefeater Quay Restaurant.

Saturday, July 17: Gig day. We traveled to nearby town of Wigan for the 25th Anniversary Wigan International Jazz Festival. Along with Drake University big band, the Columbia Jazz Band performed in the Celebration Hall on the final night of the week-long jazz festival. A wonderful venue, a great audience and a superb performance by the band. Everyone agreed that this was a terrific evening and we all enjoyed the sincere hospitality from our host, Ian Darrington.

Sunday, July 18: The bus travels to Edinburgh, Scotland to enjoy a truly beautiful city. Tanya's husband Graham is from Scotland and has lived in Edinburgh, so he guided us and shared many tips and suggestions for our visit. Dinner that evening was at Howies Restaurant in Edinburgh.

Monday, July 19: Gig day. Our first performance was at the Ross Theater, an outdoor venue near Edinburgh Castle. We had some rain, but a very good concert nonetheless. The band is sounding better than ever! An early evening dinner at the First Coast Restaurant and then on to our second concert of the day and the band's final performance. St. Brides Center proved to be a very nice venue. This was a terrific concert, very well attended and a friendly and enthusiastic jazz crowd sponsored and hosted by the Edinburgh Jazz Society. Again, our thanks to Randy for making each performance possible by working out the many details and logistics with our rental equipment.

Tuesday, July 20: This was a sightseeing day and our last full day on tour. Great weather and a tour of the fantastic Edinburgh Castle made for a wonderful morning. Lunch was on our own then a bus trip was offered to another beautiful and historic site, Stirling Castle. That evening was our farewell dinner at the Massimo Restaurant in Edinburgh. Everyone thanked Patrick and Phillip for their friendship, expertise and attention to detail. I believe it was a unanimous feeling that both of these gentlemen made our trip the very best it could be.

We all met many new friends, renewed some previous friendships, saw wonderful sights and ate well. But most importantly and the focus of the trip, the Columbia Jazz Band did Columbia, Maryland proud! Each band member gave their all, played great at every performance and brought the level of musicianship and their passion for jazz to an all-time high.

Until 2012!
Pete BarenBregge

Fun Stuff
   
Quarterly Word: "Alexander's Feast" - A Handel Cantata first performed in 1736; The words were adapted from an ode about Alexander the Great.

Quarterly Quote: "There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between." ~ Sir Thomas Beecham

Official CB Positions
   
President - Woody Wingfield
Vice President - Len Morse
Secretary - Michael Pack
Treasurer - Aileen Borders

Music Directors

CCB Director - Mike Blackman
CJB Director - Pete Barenbregge

Appointees and Volunteers

Historian - Melinda Frisch
Publicity Chair - Jim Kaiser
Fundraising Chair - Woody Wingfield
Equipment Manager - Len Morse
Grants, Programs - Jeanette Donald
Facebook Fan Page Moderator - Carolyn Hipkins
Accountant - David Weisenfreund, CPA
Librarian - Marilyn Kelsey
Curator - Jeanette Donald (Acting)
Uniform Manager - Bill DeVuono
HCAC Liason - Tanya Hoegh-Allan
Insurance Liason - Jenn Ambrosiano-Reedholm
CCB-CJB Liason - Maurice Feldman
CCB Webmaster - Suzanne Hassell (Len Morse)
CJB Webmaster - Matt Williams
Members-at- Large - Jenn Ambrosiano-Reedholm, Maurice Feldman, Jim Kaiser, Meghna Lipcon, Kathleen Shoemaker, Jim Wesloh, and John Zontek

 

Contact Information

phone: 301-598-4587
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