We were pleased to welcome some 40 guests to our concert held yesterday, 23rd May at St Mary’s Church Willesborough. Among them were a guest family from Ukraine, staying with our bassoonist, and Ros Parker, whose husband David sadly passed away recently – a much valued violinist member of our orchestra.
The concert was notable for the sheer pleasure exhibited by the various players in producing our programme for the evening. Starting with some English Dances in honour of our Queen’s Jubilee, we went on to play the Ukrainian National Anthem, and the Prayer of Ukraine, in solidarity with the people of that beleagured country. This was followed by Fauré’s ”Après une Rêve” sung by Steph Batchelor and accompanied by Gill Booker.
Following came a spirited rendition of Khachaturian’s Masquerade Waltz, and then Tim Bushnell’s soulful performance of ”Song for Lotte” on the trombone. Helen Marshal introduced us to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and we then went on to a medley from ”Oklahoma!” – coincidentally also one of the Queen’s favourites. The finale was Florence Price’s Juba Dance.
Thanks go in particular to Gill Booker for helping us get our heads round sometimes challenging music, to all members of the orchestra, and to our wonderful audience, who together raised £345 to send on to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal – a charity selected by Ros Parker in memory of her husband.
Well, we finally did it – our first concert in two years. Together with Ashford Community Choir, Music Director Karen Hill, we gave of our best, and were joined by more than 100 friends, relatives and total strangers! Not to say that everything was perfect – there were the inevitable ‘not quite together’ moments, but quickly corrected, and not even noticed by the audience. Having spoken to many of them, they thoroughly enjoyed the event, and joined in with the singing despite having to wear masks.
Covid Risk Assessment was duly performed, precautions implemented, and hopefully nobody was infected. we can only hope this was the next step in the long return to normality for the orchestra. It also seems that several members of the choir would be keen to do more joint performances.
Well done to everyone concerned. Riding for the Disabled Association were very happy to report raising a sum of over £600, and we were very happy to have played our part in this.
At last we have approval to recommence live music! As of Monday 19th July we will have 3 rehearsals at our usual time of 7.30pm – perhaps best to arrive before 7.15pm to get settled in.
Please do not attend rehearsals if you have any symptoms of Covid19 – fever, new continuous cough, change or loss of sensation of smell or taste (among others!).
We will take a register of attendees and Roger will sign into the church register on behalf of all of us. This will avoid broadcasting everyone’s details! Sanitiser will be available, and we will aim to space ourselves at least 1m apart. The church team will clean the chairs on Tuesday morning.
Many thanks to Gill for agreeing to these rehearsals, and to Libby and the church team for putting up with my calls!
As usual, please bring your own music stand – even if you normally share a desk.