A very Happy New Year to our Band Members and Friends. Some have been through such a difficult year, our thoughts are with you, and we’re all hoping to share music again as soon as possible. In this post, Clive, our Principal Trombone, tells us how the Band managed just a little bit of carefully-distanced carol-playing at the Barnes Village Christmas Festival. We also later performed at St Michael’s Church, so bringing Xmas cheer with a reminder of live music to many people. The Band held four rehearsals in between lockdowns/Tier 4 – we were on to the 11th version of the Covid-Secure Risk Assessment before we got there! Huge thanks to Andrea, Daryle, and everyone who’s helped keep us together in 2020. Below, we update you about next steps but first, here’s Clive:
“It had been 278 long, frustrating days for the good people of South-West London. Would they ever get to hear again the warm tones of the Barnes Concert Band or would that be just a memory to be recounted to their children and grand-children in the years to come? But wait, who is this motley group of people gathering in Barnes High Street on this cold winter’s evening. Chairs are being set out and, yes, instruments unpacked by mask-clad musicians (of a sort). Inquiries as to what was going to happen were met with the reassurance that there would be carols in due course, although this would have to wait until a quorum had been established and carol books arrived. (The Closed Hammersmith Bridge traffic challenged the keenest musicians.) Some desultory playing by ear of the odd tune from some of the braver ones there, interspersed with warm up notes from others, encouraged more people to gather (socially-distanced of course). Finally, the music arrived and the band launched into its first full carol, with warm applause at its conclusion. Over the next hour or so, more and more came and went, children dragging their long-suffering parents over to watch and then being handed coins, and even notes, to put into the sanitised collection bucket. At last, something that could be paid for without having to use contactless. Liquid refreshment was provided during a brief pause in proceedings before the relentless march of the carols resumed, only to be brought to a halt finally by a steady, cold drizzle. Ah well, it had been a long wait but worth it, for both players and audience. A faint echo of normality for Christmas 2020.”
In Tier 4, we won’t be able to resume rehearsals by early January, so we’ll keep you updated. There’ll be more online gatherings, particularly the AGM on 26th Jan at 7.30pm – Susie will send more details in her unique and treasured style. When we can meet again, fingers crossed, the term is planned to continue until March 23rd. Then, hopefully, a summer term starting April 13th and ending on June 29th, just in time – we hope – for the Barnes Fair. We’re canvassing ideas for online sessions, and future events, so please keep thinking about our music and our very special community of players!