Guest post by John Barber – Courtesy of Brass Band World Magazine – ‘Probably the best warm up in the world!’
Good evening Sir and welcome to the Carlsberg Band room. I trust our chauffer Nigel arrived on time and your ride was suitably comfortable? Mr. Mansell is usually very punctual. We had the Champagne put on ice an hour before you were due to be picked up so hopefully, it was at an acceptable temperature? And the olives?
Our resident conductor Maestro Muti will be with us shortly, he’s just finishing his full body massage, so in the meantime, if you would allow me to show you around our facilities it would be my honour.
Over here are our individual warm-up rooms, they are soundproofed, air-conditioned and each comes with an optional attendant who will warm your instrument up for you should you wish whilst you make the most of the other facilities.
If you are worried about warming up your facial muscles pre-rehearsal, please be assured sir we have that covered too. Our highly trained masseurs will spend 5 minutes working your essential tendons and ligaments as you enjoy a relaxing dry martini at the bar through a straw whilst Jamie Fox, our bar manager, will provide you with funny anecdotes as you relax.
Talking of the bar, here it is, well the first part of it.
It is our pleasure to stock only the finest real ales sourced from across the globe and we have everything in casks from the celebrated ‘Soprano Split’ to the ‘Percussionists Abacus’ or, if you want something with a bit more of a kick there’s always the ‘Padstow Baritone’ or on the top shelf and quite hard to reach we also have a lovely pint of ‘Flugel Tuner’.
Naturally, these ales sit next to our malt Whisky and Brandy range whilst our extensive Gin collection can be enjoyed next door.
In the pool bar.
All the drinks are complimentary of course however before the rehearsal we try to limit players to no more than four. Not because of concerns of their ability to perform but mostly the desire not to have the rehearsal overly disrupted with toilet breaks.
Since we have stumbled onto the topic of the bathroom, it can be found over there on the left-hand side just past the chocolate fountain and waffle counter.
I’m afraid that unlike many fast food and retail chains, our toilets have not followed the trend of being ‘waterless’ and therefore we are not in this respect helping to save the planet. However, on the upside, they don’t smell of urine all day either.
If you do decide to visit you’’ find that the toilet seats are moulded from re-conditioned Pbones and the toilet bowls are old timpani drums, fashioned to both look and feel like a throne and I’ve been told with excellent acoustics too.
Post rehearsal we have a wind-down suite with full sauna, jacuzzi and hydro-therapy facilities and in the bar Stevie Wonder will be playing piano to help take the edge off.
We are well aware, as is Maestro, of the stressful nature of music and we will do all we can to support you through this.
And so, to the rehearsal space itself. You’ll notice we have some seating for public performances, we had to stop at 2500 though as we didn’t want it to become gregarious, no one likes a show-off.
Our music stands are sponsored by BAE Systems, each with a built-in translation earpiece to support rehearsals with various foreign speaking and northern conductors, a mini bar and a smart TV for the start of rehearsals when, as is often the case, hymn books come out.
The chairs have a fully reclining function to utilise during bars rest or baritone features and each player has an attendant to assist with counting rests, marking instructions on the music and putting mutes in as required.
Our composer in residence John Williams has written a number of small ditties for the group as has Stephen Sondheim (he keeps ringing, desperate to be part of the set up) but I don’t think we’re working on any of their material tonight.
You will note that you were not invited to audition for a place in the Carlsberg band however simply offered a seat. This is an exclusive band, open only to those whom the committee feel will suitably fulfill the demands, profile and exuberance that such an ensemble dictates. We feel that you, with your multi-million-pound personal fortune are just the kind of player that will fit right in.
OK – well I hope you enjoyed the tour, Maestro has finished his massage and I think the rehearsal is about to start.
Don’t be overwhelmed, it’s easy at times like this to lose focus.
‘Good evening ladies and gentlemen – I trust you are all well?
From the top, please.
John is the Principal Trombone of the World Famous Fodens Band and is a teacher at a local school in Sandbach, also the historical home of Fodens Band..
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