Huge thanks to everyone who has kept the Band together over the past months – we’ve Zoomed, quizzed, shared our Desert Island Discs, our Private Passions and played “Hallelujah” in an online collaboration. Now, we’re delighted to be working out how to get the Band playing for real.
Just to clarify where we are: your Committee members have assessed the latest government guidance (as have many non-professional music groups and umbrella organisations such as MakeMusic) and we can definitely start thinking about resuming carefully-managed rehearsals as soon as that is achievable.
We understand that Richard Reynolds, like other schools we know of, don’t want to hire the hall at the very beginning of term – they will have enough to manage getting the school safely open for all pupils. They wish to consider lettings later – whether that is before half-term, in November or even next year is yet to become clear as they assess their situation, and as the virus threat reduces/resurges. We have begun work on our risk assessment, which must fit with RR’s own plans for the building, and address the specific issues of a music group. If you’d like to take a look – and please understand it’s a very preliminary draft – it’s on the website Band Notices, just below this message. Susie has the password.
The next step, in September, is to consult with all Band Members. Then, we will have our Risk Assessment (see next post below for a Draft, Susie has password) which we can discuss with RR in respect of venue safety, and we will also create a separate document which focuses on how we expect, musically, to proceed. We will ask all Members who feel confident to return to rehearsals to sign off this document.
So please do keep practising! The Committee are working very hard to see if and how we can play/perform together this term, and we’ll anyway look forward to exploring Daryle’s exciting repertoire for the Barnes Festival next March! Here are his suggested pieces so far:
Theme – Music and Theatre: HRH The Duke of Cambridge March by Malcolm Arnold. Two links – composed by Malcolm Arnold in 1957 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Kneller Hall and 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of MA.
Porgy & Bess – George Gerswhin. A newish arrangement by John Barnes.
The Watermill – Ronald Binge
76 Trombones – Meredith Wilson.
The Three Bears – Fantasy – Eric Coates. Fantasy on the well-known story.
Dear Band Members – we enjoyed a wonderful Zoom trip to the Desert Island, huge thanks to Fiona for hosting. So, here we capture your Music that has Meaning – keep sending us details of your favourite Disc!
Daryle (MD): In The Mood, played by the RAF Squadronnaires:
Clive (Trombone): After many years of playing this music: he’s enjoying the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s trombones playing Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ over Zoom #RPOatHome
Fran (Flute): “I really enjoyed our Desert Island Discs tonight! Here’s the song I played, with added overture too, from the musical “Curtains”. The “wide open spaces” song is from the musical within the musical that starts out terrible but ends up being very successful after the detective solving the murder steps in… honestly highly recommend the whole soundtrack!
Charlotte (Clarinet): sent us Skid Row (Downtown) – Little Shop of Horrors (Broadway recording). She explains: “Like Fran I’ve played in a fair few musical bands (though not 20 like her!) but Little Shop of Horrors in my third year at university was when I got to be co-musical director of a production and it’s an amazing memory for me and taught me a lot about working as a team, leadership and musicality. Also I just thought the music was brilliant, especially the doo-wop style bits and the mix of other styles thrown in eg klezmer for one song. But this one is probably my favourite. Also I think LSOH is a slightly underrated musical!”
Barbara (Trombone): told us of her fascinating work, and personal, time in Uganda and shared this truly inspiring music:
Whether you were at the Zoom or not, do keep sending us details of your favourite track and tell us what it means to you!
We’ve asked that members, if they wish, send us their thoughts and reflections at this time, and/or perhaps a profile of you and your playing experience? We’re delighted that our Principal Trombone, and veteran Band Member, Clive Preston, has accepted the challenge. Here’s his wonderful article, “A Conflict of Interests” comparing the pull of sporting and musical loyalties – which will win?
Please take a look at the posts below – Daryle’s new pdfs of music for our comeback concert, whenever that is, plus advice on practising. Then, below that, we’ve also included a password-protected link to our library catalogue. Susie has already shared the password for these – contact her via the band email if you need a reminder.
We now know our summer concerts are cancelled – the Committee are discussing ideas for the future. It’s very challenging, but we’re thinking hard about how, and when, We’ll Meet Again …… (RIP, Dame Vera ….)
Dear Band Members, the updated government advice is clear. We must now stop all non-essential, social contact with others, especially important for Londoners. Therefore, sadly, we need to cancel all rehearsals for the foreseeable future. We are looking at ways of staying in touch to keep up band morale – and we’re very thankful that we managed to perform our wonderful concert and share friendship over a good curry. We’ll be in touch again soon, via Susie’s emails and this site. Take care everyone!
With very best wishes, Andrea, Daryle, Clive, Susie, Fiona, Gemma, Simon and Liz
Local Richmond council advice about coronavirus is available here
If the current situation eases after Easter – here are our latest Concert dates/changes: we’re doing a VE Street Party on Friday 8th May, near to All Saints’ Church in East Sheen. We’ll be playing at the Barnes Children’s Literary Festival on Sunday 14th June, time tbc. And please note our Regent’s Park gig has been moved to Sunday 12th July [from Sunday 26th July] . Details also on our concerts page. Huge thanks to Andrea and others for arranging all these exciting events – please may we remind you to pro-actively let your section leader know your availability asap. And if you need to miss any rehearsals, please don’t forget to send apologies to your section leader with as much notice as possible.
Rehearsal dates: after Easter, we hope to start again on Tuesday 21st April. Our last Summer rehearsal is Tuesday 7th July, just before our concert double bill of Barnes Fair on Sat 11th July and the Regent’s Park gig on Sunday 12th July. Then, at the moment, we’re planning to chill over the summer until September unless Andrea comes up with any more wonderful events!
Friday 6th December – we’re playing outside the Sun Inn [opposite the traffic island and Barnes Pond] so please set up 6.45pm ready to play from 7pm. We’re doing carols from the little red books, and we hope the good folk of Barnes will be singing along. Dress code totally informal – just wrap up warm [and Xmassy?!]and bring music stands. The lighting’s not bad, but bring stand lights if you wish. [And we understand that there’s a glass of fizz on offer at Rose House, just along the road if we get there before 8pm!]
Saturday 7th December – Gemma’s Wimbledon Xmas Tree Festival Event!
Venue: Trinity United Reformed Church, Mansel Road, Wimbledon, SW194AB. Next door to Wimbledon High School.
Parking: street parking only. There is no room at the church. Street parking is pricey!
Tube/Train: Wimbledon station is a 5 min walk.
Rehearsal: set up 15:30 ready to start promptly at 15:45. Please bring your own stands. Choir will arrive at 16:30 to rehearse a Million Dreams and their own pieces until 17:15. [Assume there will not be enough time to run through flutes and Saxes.]
Concert: 17:30-18:30. It is a free concert with donations to London Ambulance. The church is having its Christmas tree festival and does look lovely. Do encourage friends, family along!
Dress: smart black – tinsel most acceptable!
Programme – [but Gemma is flexible about order]
Band and congregation: Silent Night
Choir: 3x pieces
Sax Quartet: 4x pieces
Band & Choir: Million Dreams
Band: 2x Christmas pieces
Band & Congregation: Ding Dong Merrily
Thurs 12th October: we’re back at St Michael’s and All Angels. Set-up 1830 onwards [def bring stands – and stand lights if you wish], carols in the courtyard from 7pm [we’re semi-inside in the Community Centre with doors open, but still wrap up warm, dress code again informal and Xmassy] Then 30 mins or so of Xmas music in the Church – we’ll rehearse this at the last Tues rehearsal [Tues 10th Oct].
The Band will be rehearsing at Queen’s CofE Primary School, in Kew this week, usual timings. [Our regular venue, Richard Reynolds School in Twickenham, became unavailable at short notice.] We can use the school’s music stands, but you may wish to bring your own drinks. Queen’s address is: Cumberland Road, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3HJ. The school is at the far end of Cumberland Road if you’re coming from Kew Gardens Station, but it’s just a few minutes’ walk. Please note, if driving, that Cumberland Road is a one-way street, with access from the A205/South Circular Road. More location-transport-parking details here.
A Symphonic Wind Band Playing In South West London