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!
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].