The Episcopalians…

… that’s most likely the name of my new jazz band. Considering that we have little else in common save for the fact that each member comes from a different Anglican Church in Singapore. The drummer’s from St John’s-St Margaret’s, the bassist is from St James’, the second keyboardist is from St Andrew’s and yours truly, from St George’s.
We had the best rehearsal ever this evening, followed by a trip to the nearest neighbourhood kopi tiam (coffee shop). I was glad we had time to do some ‘bonding’ outside of the studio for once. I think bonding time is very important for any team, be it at work or at play.
When we first got together, I wasn’t sure how we were going to pull through considering we were quite … different. Our bassist and drummer had children that were closer to my age! And I was the only female, and the youngest member as well.
I liked listening to the new radio station, Lush 99.5, whereas the other keyboardist said of it, “You’ve heard one song, you’ve heard it all.” I also didn’t like hearing people putting down Macintoshes as not having software to make music with (haven’t you heard of Garageband or Logic or Reason?). I thought we were off to a pretty bad start, actually.
Ironically, my teacher decided to appoint me as leader and I don’t think I was particulary dedicated to the cause. Especially because I was involved with Alpha, the worship band, and my own company choir rehearsals.
But tonight, something clicked. We made mistakes, but we kept in time and came out grinning at the end of every song.
Anyway, our concert’s in Woodlands (Fuchun CC Concert Hall) on 25 June 2005. Tickets are $5 each, to cover rental costs. There will be performances by several bands consisting of music students, starting with the most junior and ending with the professionals (our teachers). My band is playing just before the professionals.
We will be playing three songs, Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo a la Turk, Miles Davis’s So What, and my own composition, Restless in Rio.
The first two classics will be played close to the original styles. We don’t have enough stage time to play Ronny Jordan’s version of So What, although we did manage to pull it off during rehearsals.
We only started on Blue Rondo a few weeks ago, and it is the piece I’m dreading the most, because of the fast pace and heavy chords:
Try playing this accurately and at top speed
However, I learnt tonight that Blue Rondo has some history with my teacher. He had entered a competition in his younger days and won first prize for playing the piece. I am certainly not as adept as him but this little bit of information has spurred me on. Even if my fingers break off and fly in different directions in the process, I will practice this piece.
(I can hear 4 generations of piano teachers whooping for joy – “Vanessa’s actually going to practice hard this time!!!”)
So with this little announcement, I bid you good night.