Posted by: Abby Rhodes | March 7, 2010

Sunday rehearsal preview

The Wind Ensemble will meet for its second of three rehearsals today to complete an agenda set to address concerns both musical and logistic.   With less than one week until the band departs for Brazil, Dr. Mike Fansler and a small army of assistants are working diligently to make sure no essential task is left unattended.  When the mission means taking over 40 people, roughly the same number of musical instruments, plus media equipment, programs, and luggage some 5300 miles, it seems there’s always one more thing to consider in order to ensure a seamless transfer.

Junior Kurt Makaryk during last week's rehearsal

For example, Musical Instrument Repair Technician Chad Walker spent much of Friday determining the exact metric weight and measurements of each of the band members’ instruments and designating which of them will be stowed under the plane and which ones may be carried aboard.

Amid all the action items already on organizers’ to-do lists, a ceaseless flow of requests pop up for things like an additional letter of introduction to one of our Brazilian hosts, electronic copies of music, and continued negotiations with Brazilian customs over the transport of musical instruments.

“We’re getting a lot of experience handling small requests, which I forsee continuing on the ground in Brazil.  This reinforces the idea that we have to be flexible and we may be changing details five minutes before a performance. We need to remain open-minded and free-flowing.  It is, however, spring break, and we want to stay relaxed and have fun,” said Fansler.

Today travelers will receive advice from Kim McDaniel from the WIU Study Abroad office, and Leslie Walker, a Macomb woman who briefly lived in Brazil.  These guests will offer some advice on how to remain safe while traveling in a foreign country and suggest some tips for being good ambassadors of WIU and the United States.

Of course, no rehearsal would be complete with out some rehearsing.  The band will sightread the Brazilian national anthem today, along with two other Brazilian pieces new to the group.  Listen to the Brazilian national anthem below.

And here’s a clip from last week’s rehearsal.

Check Onthebeatbrazil.wordpress.com later today for more information and photos from Sundays’ rehearsal.

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