Band concert in the gym?
November 19, 2012 at 8:51 pm #15664
My winter band concert has to be held in the gym. There is nothing I can do to have this changed, and most likely my spring concerts will have to be in the gym as well. Is there anything I can do to make this performance sound better then a band just playing in the middle of a gymnasium? I feel like all the work I have done on blend and balance will be going out the window!
Thanks in advance!November 20, 2012 at 10:18 am #15684
I think you’ll find you’re not alone in having concerts in the gym. Mine are always in there, and it works. It’s not always ideal, but it works. I’m thankful that I’m not playing in something called a “cafe-gym-itorium” like I’ve heard from others.
Playing in a gym can suck some of the preciseness out of the sound, but it also can cover up flaws. I find that the snare carries extra well, but timpani, bass drum, and most mallets need to play out. Instruments on the low end need to bump up their sound a little bit, but otherwise my balance doesn’t change a whole lot from my carpeted band room to the gym. Students should play with a little more separation, especially when playing staccato.
Hopefully you can practice in the gym before the concert? At least one rehearsal is nice, although more than that would be even better.May 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm #24114
My school district is a “World Class Community” in Ohio (deemed by township and state). yet, we do not have an auditorium. I do all of my concerts each year in a middle school gym. Our high school is the same situation. I have 410 kids in a 6-8 band program and the high school has 200+ kids in a 9-12 band program. Both programs are top rated in state competition settings (Ohio Class A). Sometimes, we have to make the best of what we have in less than ideal situations.
We get no practice time in the gym. In fact, my bands are split down the middle each day. (6th grade split over two periods, 7th same, 8th same). They don’t even get to practice together until the concert. 130-140 kids playing together as an entire group in concert with no rehearsal in a gym. 🙂 If we as teachers are constantly teaching them about balance, blend, intonation, and adjusting to their surroundings (adjusting volume from carpeted and sound paneled bandroom to gym with no carpet and cement walls) they should be able to do it. Again, not idea, but we can make it work!January 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm #34125
I rehearse every day in my beloved “gym-cafe-torium”. Fortunately, we have big black curtains we can close so that when P.E. is going on down on the gym/cafe floor, we can hear them just a bit less. It also keeps stray volleyballs and other gym equipment from getting thrown at us on stage. I’ve ventured off stage and walked all the way to the back of the space opposite the stage to see just how hard it would be to hear the band from all the way back. Poor kids do not stand a chance in that space. My principal wants me to build my program (it’s my first year there!) so much that next year, we’ll be begging to have them build the band building that they were slated to build, but never did. Sorry there, Jack. Build it and THEN they will come. And stay, most certainly.
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