Friday, March 18, 2016

How to Arrange My Concert Band

Arranging a concert band requires preparation, planning and the right amount of space to set up the ensemble properly. Each section requires the correct position to create the proper acoustics. The correct balance will create an ensemble sound that is powerful and dense. The standard method of setting up a concert band involves arranging the group into sections categorized by instrument families. Regardless of the size of the ensemble, the group should be set up in the standard way first, and then the conductor may make adjustments as needed.

Step 1: Determine the number of players you have to determine the number of chairs and stands needed. Each woodwind player will be able to share a stand. The brass section should have their own stands, and the percussion section should have a total of four to five stands.

Step 2: Set up chairs and stands starting with the back of the ensemble and working from the sides inward. The ensemble chairs will consist of five rows arranged in a semi-circle around the conductor. The instruments in the back of the orchestra are typically all percussionists. Give them four to five stands to use for their instruments and music.

Step 3: Move up one row and set up chairs and stands, moving from the conductor's right to the left of the stage. Tubas, baritones, trombones and second and third trumpets occupy this row. Provide each player with one stand.

Step 4: Set up the third row from the back by placing tenor and baritone saxophones on the right of the stage, followed by the French horn section, first trumpets and third clarinets. The saxophones, horns, and trumpets each get one stand. The clarinets typically share a stand because it takes two hands to play the instrument. One player will play while the other turns the page.

Step 5: Arrange the second row from the front. This row includes alto saxes on the right, followed by bassoons, bass clarinets, alto clarinets and third clarinets. Each instrument in this row shares a stand including the alto saxes.

Step 6: Place chairs and stands for the first row starting with the flutes on the right, followed by the piccolos, oboes, and first clarinets. Each instrument in this row will typically share a stand.

Step 7: Put the conductor's podium at the front of the orchestra centered in the middle of the ensemble.</p>