So the AWCB is doing recording sessions in our next rehearsals. The idea is, generally, to put together a CD of light summer fare that we can sell at our summer concerts. We have hired a recording engineer to come in and record us as we play in an auditorium, and (I think) mix it up so it sounds nice; this is different from the recordings done of concerts (we have several of those) which are victims of local acoustics.
Personally, I have been part of a number of scheduled recordings like this. The Symphonic Band at the RLMU was part of a number of recordings of new band music for sampler CDs for band directors. Most notably, however, I was in the band that recorded Jim Bonney's Courage and Compassion, which appears on BCM's Men of Industry CD. It's a great piece of music, truly, and the recording experience was intense (and Jim Bonney is an amazingly inspirational person).
The difference between that session and this session with the AWCB is one simple thing: rehearsal time. With the RLMU band, we rehearsed C&C for about two weeks solid, nothing but that. When we did the band sampler stuff, it was two or three grades underneath what we played regularly and so it wasn't a problem for most of us to sight read it.
Although many of the people in the AWCB have played most of the music previously, it feels like we are not gelling in that way that you need to in order to get a decent recording. We've read through the pieces a few times and had a somewhat rushed rehearsal this past week, and I get the feeling that we're going to be spending a lot of recording time doing things that should have been done in rehearsal. But maybe we will find our sea legs and get it together at the last moment (as the AWCB is very good at doing) and create a fine recording. I'm hopeful for the latter, although the lack of rehearsal time sure makes me nervous. Either way, I'll make sure to blog about it next week!