(Carried over from 2005...)
The last GEM-TONES rehearsal for 2005. The GEM-TONES will be in recess until late January 2006, but can still be recalled for shows quite easily in the meantime.
We spent the night 'Jamming' based on some improvising games that the FOSSICKERS enjoy. All good fun and a great way to wind down after an interesting and quite successful first 6 months of development. I hope we have made enough of an impression on the local music scene to be called upon to assist, or even feature at many of the public and private events in the Inverell district and wider New England region planned for 2006.
Happy and safe holidays.
It has been a while since the Gem-Tones have presented any new news to the www. That certainly doesn't mean we've gone into any sort of recess, far from it. All the info housed on the main Gem-Tones site, representing the first 5-6 months of the group's development exceeded the server memory allocation (internet page length...). Its taken a little while to organise to share some space with the FOSSICKERS website but here we are once again.
The first few rehearsals of 2006 have had their moments. We have managed to have 1 (from 8) with a full compliment. So many other activities present themselves, and demand the 'seasonal' attention of our members. Gem-Tones is 'all year round', so I'm sure we'll cope. Continuing to build on the strong start of 2005 has been helped with the wonderfull gift afforded the band through the efforts of past MHS music student Marc Orchard.
Marc was a recipient of the 'CALTEX-ALLROUNDER' award at the 2005 MHS presentation night. This first award enabled Marc to enter a special essay competition, run by CALTEX, in which he had the opportunity to present a case that may compell CALTEX to provide funding support for a worthwhile community venture. Marc chose the Gem-Tones. Marc's essay was one of the top 5 in the nation. Marc's efforts gained Gem-Tones $1000.00 from CALTEX directly, $500.00 to MHS, and some additional funds for himself. (a link to CALTEX and Marc's essay is on the 'Sponsors page' on the Gem-Tones site...)
After struggling to provide enough 'charts', stands and other essentials to maintain the development of the Gem-Tones over the last half of 2005 this gift was very timely indeed. Combined with this initial sum, MHS chose to sign-over its cheque to the Gem-Tones as well!
Thanks to the NECU, the faith in the band shown by the local organisations that booked us for performances while we were in our infancy (Inverell Eisteddfod Society, Sapphire Tea Gardens, Inverell Transport Museum, Kottage Kiya - even though we were rained out, the organisers of the RSM spectacular, Inverell's 'Growing Inverell' committee and their initiative of 'Music in the Rotunda', McLean workers and their social commitee with their great christmas party), and the 'allrounder' gifts the Gem-Tones' credit union account was healthy enough for us to purchase our much needed 20 stands. The extra funds have been immediately put into the purchase of 16 new 'charts', many of which feature vocals. (Check out our repertoire list updates.)
With 3 shows in a very short space of time we hope to be able to present some of these charts for our growing audiences. Certainly, our next developmental goals are to diversify our range of styles so we can cover more and more community events with longer performances, and again, lift our performance standards. What better way for the Gem-Tones to demonstrate their appreciation of all their supporters.
(Big news to come... Two great shows being organised back-to-back for October... bookmark our performance info page back on the main site.)
A Taste of Macintyre was a great event. Plenty of community support for both the schools and the community performers (details posted 'short-term' on the new local MUSIC-PLAY FOR LIFE website http://www.long-blue-room.websyte.com.au * a very full program *.)
Gem-Tones followed the FOSSICKERS and new rock band BMTJ. One quick 50min set featuring many of the new vocal numbers and a quick Bossa COCO LOCO to break things up. Some running repairs to the Hammond and a 'Roland' transplant later provided us with keyboard sounds. Some magnificent 'telepathy' from with in the rhythm section countered any illness present and held onto all the repeats and vamps for the solos. In general the Gem-Tones, fed by the appreciative crowd, presented a polished performance in our combo form (a few members were needed by their school and performed at another event elsewhere in town. Great to think Inverell can support such a thriving arts scene). All members worked as a seasoned unit to set up, adjust to the sound in the hall (brick box), and hit every number rapid-fire for a tight enerjetic show.
Our next performance is in a weeks time. 3 more sets like this one and we are ready for (almost) anything... See you all there - details back on the main site.
Well, yes, it has been a long time since this page has been added too.
That certainly doesn't mean that the Gem-Tones have been any less busy. Simply that my attention has been diverted by the new MUSIC-PLAY FOR LIFE campaign. Gem-Tones, as are many other local groups, is an avid supporter of the initiative.
Gem-Tones will be performing again as part of the Inverell Eisteddfod in two days time. We've been busily adding to our repertoire as well as our wardrobe... (more info soon).
This will, as it appears to each year with the approach of spring, more and more performances for the group. I do hope all the local groups that would like to book the Gem-Tones for their functions don't clash, as in the past dates fill up very quickly. We will try to perform at as many as we are able, but too much of a good thing doesn't guarantee enjoyment for all...
More soon from the eisteddfod.
Well then... The Eisteddfod performance is a full circle for the Gem-Tones. We were launched at last years, successfully, and this year we aimed to show our consistancy and 'coming of age' as a 'permanent' performing group for the town and surrounding district.
Great to have Jordanne performing with us for the first time (keys). So too, Mikaela (Sax in 'Sir Duke'). 2007 will be a big year for Gem-Tones as we bring in new players and farewell some regulars. (We need Trumpets, Trombones, and Percussion.)
Our main aim, as it always is, is to enjoy the performance, but this year we weren't going to rely on the adrenaline and freshness of the group to carry the day. We worked up some great tunes across most of our styles and delivered them with both an air of fun and engagement that will become our new benchmark when we are performing again in the park. The stage is set now for the larger functions and co-orporate events that we have been booked for later in October.
Our alternate aim was to try and best our result from last year. 97 in 2005 was astounding. It was the highest grading awarded. This year we achieved 94. It too, it has been confirmed, was the highest grading awarded for 2006. (The comments appear next.)
With the restructure of the Gem-Tones website, we might be able to post some more pictures and small clips of the performance. Lets hope... Our Performance program included: Georgia On My Mind (arr, Wilson) in the single + vocal section, and COCO LOCO (Sorenson/Pearson), MOONDANCE (arr, Thorp), SIR DUKE (arr, Wilson) and LONG TRAIN RUNNIN' (arr, Thorp) in the concert selection section.
Have a look at the FOSSICKERS site: http://www.the-fossickers-jazz-training-combo.websyte.com.au As they have had an exceptional Eisteddfod as well. FOSSICKERS is not yet one year old, but they have already developed into a fully fledged performing group in their own right.
All we need now is for a few local organisations to 'book' them for some performances.http://www.long-blue-room.websyte.com.au Have a look at the schedule of events and get in early!
I suppose by now you've made the assumption that the website sits 'on the back burner' while the day to day running of the band sits at the forefront. Well, yes your right! Still it's good to be able to update the NEWS pages every so often. (pictures are more frequently turned over...)
We've just come off the tail of the Sapphire City Festival for 2006. We had a great time performing at the 'Jazz in the Park', just after the SCB and just prior to James Morrison - featuring Emma Pask and band.
As you'd imagine, at an event with a closing act such as James Morrison there were a lot of photos and videos made. Our effort was well documented and very well received by the crowd. It's my guess that the town is now aware that they have a stageband that is now quite ready to perform, and provides an entertaining night... (16 months since we began..)
During the event we made a new friend in Phil Evans, Tenor Sax player from QLD. We enjoyed having Phil sit in, and will make sure that he gets one of our band shirts so that when he travels down this way again he can proudly consider himself a Gem-Tone. (pics on the 'Jazz in the Park' page).
Just on the end of the festival we had the opportunity to perform as the dance band for the "Sapphire Masquerade Ball", which was part of the state ecconomic conference held in Inverell. The crowd was a little smaller than the "Jazz in the Park", but being delegates from all over the state (business and local govt reps) great fun as an audience. We have been fortunate enough to have sorted out our casual uniform, our formal attire, our new Trumpet riser (thanks Andrew), and received a marvelous gift in our new banner (Huge thanks Meg), but you wouldn't guess the one thing we overlooked... a business card! Many of the delegates consistantly requested info on the Gem-Tones, some wishing to negotiate our travelling to their conferences, festivals and balls on the coast and in larger centers towards Newcastle, as well as inland. (All accomodation and meals does sound attractive. P.A, running costs and new charts will be the negotiation points, I imagine.).
Well that's another reason we have our website! Business cards designs are underway...
Music Play For Life is picking up momentum around Inverell and district. Each time the Gem-Tones perform the MPFL posters are displayed. Many of the delegates had heard of the campaign, but not seen it in action. We're quite happy to show them what is possible!
Our last rehearsal should have been a 'pizza night', as we spent most of it wathching our selves on home DVD videos. Very enjoyable, and enlightening as to what our 'show' is like from the perspactive of the audience.
Overwhelmingly evident is that all involved are having fun.
If any one cares to follow the lonks from our home page to the local MUSIC PLAY FOR LIFE site (Long Blue Room), they will note that we have just successfully completed our engagements for 2006. Some huge ones and some intimate ones, but all increasingly stong in their presentation, musicianship and appeal to our varied audiences.
The Gem-Tones will be having a short break from rehearsal over Christmas, and resuming mid January (depending on the outcome of a booking enquiry for Centenery and Australia Day celebrations). During this short break our website will get a bit of an overhaul and more will be posted in the news section about our achievements and plans. Stay tuned for more info and pictures.
Thanks to Bonnie for the image of our recent rotunda performance (6 members down, but still a big balanced sound). While our 'paperatzzi' had their cameras, Bonnie's memory may be longer lasting.
No, there hasn't been a catastrophy and a whole year of info has been lost. The GEM-TONES have been playing solidly for the year of 2007, and will continue to do so through 2008 and well into the future. Drop us a line if you'd like to hear of our latest exploits, or keep upto date on our PERFORMANCES page. The most upto date callendar is always at http://www.long-blue-room.websyte.com.au why not have a look!