Life happens – we all understand that – so we know that not every WCB member can attend 100% of rehearsals or play in every concert. The core expectation is that everyone makes a reasonable effort to support their fellow musicians. To put that in numbers, band members should attend at least two-thirds of scheduled rehearsals (our average is actually much higher). If you encounter a personal situation that temporarily makes rehearsal attendance difficult, we just ask that you let your section leader know.
Knowing ahead of time who is available for performances is critical so that our Director can choose suitable repertoire. Concert schedules are electronically distributed early in each season and members can confirm their availability or indicate dates when they cannot be there. Always let your section leader know if your plans change!
Performing with the Band
Before playing in a concert, new members are expected to attend a minimum of three consecutive rehearsals in order to learn the repertoire and feel comfortable in their instrumental sections. All regular members should attend at least two-thirds of scheduled rehearsals, especially leading up to a concert.
Attendance policies are in place to ensure that all WCB members can feel prepared to give our audiences their best efforts and enjoy sharing live music with the larger community. Individual circumstances may arise where exceptions can be made at the Director’s discretion.
Music and Its Care
Much of a concert band’s success depends on its Librarian, who ensures that every instrument has its own complete folder containing current repertoire and that every piece of sheet music is accounted for. Our long-serving and highly skilled WCB Librarian is Viki Ledwinka, who can be reached at email@example.com
All music folders should be returned to the library cart at the end of rehearsals and concerts, unless you’re taking yours home for practice. If you are new to the band, check with your section leader to confirm whether you can take a music folder home.
- Advise librarian by email at least 3 hours in advance if a folder will not be present at the next rehearsal or performance;
- Don’t leave personal items, music from other groups or other material in WCB folders;
- Ensure folders are available for maintenance when requested;
- Treat folder gently and with respect as they are difficult to replace;
- Advise music director if you believe you have found a printing error so that all similar parts can be corrected at the same time;
- Let our librarian know as soon as possible if you are missing any pieces or pages, or have special needs.
Several times a year, all music folders (no exceptions!) are collected after rehearsal so unused selections can be removed and new ones added. This is one of the Librarian’s most labour-intensive tasks, so returning folders on her request is essential.
Set Up and Take Down
We currently have no designated group to set up chairs, stands and equipment for rehearsals or concerts and put them away afterwards. Everyone is encouraged to pitch in as they’re able.
Those who arrive earliest help arrange chairs and unpack stands, even if a team has been previously assigned. At the end, everyone helps by putting away their own stand, chairs, and any music folders not being taken home.
At formal concerts and retirement home performances, chairs are often set up by our hosts, but band members are encouraged lend a hand, especially in taking down equipment and seating afterwards. Formal concerts generally require more preparation, cleanup, and equipment transportation, so we ask for extra assistance from band members. Every extra helper makes the work much easier.
The Waterloo Concert Band uniform is a traditional, classy and affordable combination of white tops and black bottoms, preferably with black socks/stockings and footwear. Members can purchase (at cost) wash-and-wear white golf shirts with the WCB logo embroidered on the front; for simplicity, most regular members prefer this. For some concerts, such as Christmas, seasonal accessories such as ties and scarves are encouraged. For summer, black shorts and sandals can be worn with white tops.
Rehearsal & Concert Cancellations
During the late fall and winter months, severe cold, snow or ice conditions mean that our rehearsal venue may be closed on a Monday evening by the City of Waterloo for safety concerns. When this happens the WCB contact is notified and an email message is sent to the band as soon as possible. Occasionally, the WCB will decide to cancel a rehearsal on its own when travel conditions for out-of-town members pose a safety issue. Band members who do not have email are encouraged to connect with a “phone buddy” to receive cancellation notices.
As we frequently play outdoors in unsheltered locations, bad weather sometimes means cancelling at the last moment. When threatening weather conditions arise, the WCB Board makes every attempt to keep members informed about a concert’s status through email, social media and phone, but it is often impossible to make a firm decision until shortly before performance time. If you have received no WCB messages, please expect that a concert is on and come out to play.