Back with a bang

After so much time, it was great for us all to go out and perform in a gig at last!

We gave a concert for the Civil Service Social Club in Filton on a weekend in August, as part of their family fun day. The photo shows the scene during our version of the ‘1812 Overture’. No cannon for us, but plenty of fireworks.

Thanks to the CSSCC for the invite, and congratulations to them for raising over £1000 for NHS and front-line worker charities too.

photo credit: CSSCC

Thanks too to our ‘guest players’, friends of the band (and especially of Alan, our Director of Music) who stepped in to augment numbers, many of whom travelled considerable distances to be with us for rehearsals and the performance:

Phil, Mike and Colin on clarinet
Chris on cornet
Dave, Andy and Dominic on Horn
Stuart on Trombone
Shirley, James and Mark on Euphonium
Steve on Percussion,
and special thanks to Mark who joined in on vocal numbers, and to John who MC’d the occasion for us.

Back into practice

We’ve got a temporary new home for our Monday practices, whilst our bandroom in the Fire & Rescue services building is out of action, due to Covid precautions. We have managed to do a couple of practice sessions al fresco, in the car park, but our ‘Summer’ weather has made this a hazardous undertaking. At last we have been able to move indoors, as some restrictions on premises and group numbers have eased.

Our grateful thanks to the Weston Free Church for letting us use their premises and practice with a roof over our heads. As the photo shows, (and not all the band is present) we have to maintain our distances, which makes for an unfamiliar sound balance (to us at least). But if the BBC Symphony Orchestra can do it for the First night of the Proms, who are we to complain?

Service message…

The site has been temporarily unavailable for technical reasons; not malware, just a plugin that went wrong when it updated itself. There will be a couple of changes in the next few days, as the band resumes ‘normal’ service. Look out for news of concerts.

Band – the ‘calendar’ page has been removed from the website, partly because it stopped working (see above) and also it’s been replaced by our Muzodo diary and messaging service.

As the clouds begin to lift

We are beginning to see the opening of practice opportunities and even concerts later in the year. Currently we have one public concert planned, which is to be in aid of NHS front-line workers, at the beginning of September, in Bristol.

More details to come in later posts.

Band members – welcome back soon! Details of practice timetable and future gigs to come via the Muzodo diary service.

Situation as of March 2021

Update – March 2021 – nearly a year since we suspended practice sessions!
We are still unable to restart practice sessions on Monday and Wednesdays, but are actively planning, with a view to the proposed possible ‘roadmap’ issued by the Government.

Band members – we have an irregular Zoom meetup once a month, on a Monday evening.  If by some strange chance you have dodged the email invites (which are issued through the Muzodo system) contact Phil

We are not alone in this….

Sad news from our friends in France, where our partners in Aix-en-Provence, the Harmonie Municipale have had to cancel their main winter concert, in honour of St Cecilia (patron saint of musicians, naturally). As the note says on their website, whilst their 2nd wave (of coronavirus) has passed, they have not been able to rehearse enough to ensure a concert of sufficient quality – and they too have problems with venues and auditoria. Their own posts show the efforts they’ve been to, in order to practice – but at least they were able to play outdoors in public once or twice between lockdowns.

Our best wishes to them for 2021 – like them, we are already thinking of the Spring.

They write ‘Ce n’est que partie remise, comptez sur nous’ which I translate as – It’s just a matter of time, count on us!

And, if you scroll down the page to their photos of happier times, you’ll see a photo of the concert in 2017 in Aix, at which some of us were fortunate enough to be able to play!

Current planning – November update

Unfortunately the hopes of resuming practice / rehearsals in Autumn have been put on hold whilst we are still in the midst of the Coronavirus infections. At the time of writing (October 30th) the only certainty is that we won’t be able to do much in the way of performances, if anything, until well in to the New Year. Although we have managed one (socially-distanced, outdoor) practice session, it’s proving difficult to arrange venues now that the weather is getting colder. Our band members come from areas currently in Tiers 1 and 2, which is a further complication to planning.

Efforts continue, and we will get there somehow!

Coronavirus – change of plans

Due to the current CoVid-19 outbreak, in line with official recommendations, we have suspended practice sessions on Monday and Wednesday nights. All our scheduled performances from June onwards are under review .

The concert scheduled for May 2nd has been postponed to a later date, we hope in late September/early October.

Our Spring Season begins

Early notice before our campaigning starts in earnest: mark May 2nd in your diaries. This is the date of our next Charity Concert, which will be held, as last year, in the wonderful Roper Theatre, Bath. It’ll be another joint concert with the Corps of Drums from Devon & Cornwall. More information in the following weeks, tickets to go on sale in the next month or so.