Remembrance 2020

How strange it is for the band not to be taking part in the town’s Remembrance Service today. Like all bands across the country we usually play the hymns in church, before we move to the town square for the Last Post and Reveille and then the National Anthem prior to the dismissal of the Church Parade. It’s another landmark in our annual calendar of events that has been lost to the virus. However later today a band representative will be laying a wreath at the town’s War Memorial privately, on behalf of the band, as a mark of our respect.
Sadly our practice on Tuesday was our last one for a while. However we made the best of it and enjoyed ourselves playing a variety of pieces. In some ways it’s lovely to be able just to play without the pressure of having to prepare for some sort of event or performance.
Our trainees are continuing to practise and we even have some new recruits eager to learn under the direction of Ellis. More are always welcome.
As soon as we can we will get back together: we live in hope that it will not be too long before we can dust off our red waistcoats and play in public again.

Back in business

Gilly, one of our horn players, writes “Here we are at last, back in the practice room – and it’s lovely to be playing together again, albeit in small groups of six. Social distancing is being observed and all requirements are being met in terms of the virus. We sit two metres apart and have little cotton covers over the bells of our instruments. For once we are not playing carols or working on Christmas music! Let’s hope it will not be too long before we can get the whole band together again.”

Step by step…

…Lyme Regis Town Band is taking a little step back towards normality this Tuesday – if all goes well – resuming practices at the Woodmead Halls, albeit on a modest scale. David has diligently sought out repertoire for small groups to play whilst at the same time putting together an impressive risk assessment document to keep us all safe. We hope to kick off on Tuesday with the training band convening first followed by two small groups of six adults, each meeting at separate times of the evening and all scrupulously following the government regulations, the hall regulations and David’s risk assessment. It will be Town Band but not as we know it.
We are appreciative of the Hall Management Committee and their staff for the work they have done getting the hall back into safe use and for their generous understanding of our caution in our hesitant return to Tuesday night routine.
There will be lots of happy musicians if this first night back goes well.

Our latest performance…

As many of our followers may know, this is the time of year where we would be performing our weekly concerts on the sea front at Lyme Regis. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our performances are unable to take place this year. However, we have put together a piece that is a firm favourite of the band and audiences alike. So please sit back, relax, picture a beautiful sunset over Lyme Bay and enjoy our rendition of Amarillo

[Please click here]

Geoff’s divertimenti…

Sadly it has been announced that all performances on Lyme Regis Marine Parade have been cancelled by the town council in view of social distancing obligations so our concert season this summer is over before it started. Our apologies to those of you who’ve come to Lyme expecting to find us playing as usual: be assured we are as disappointed as you are.

Meanwhile…Geoff’s been whiling away his lockdown investigating a few musical youtube gems to share – here is some of his selection:

https://youtu.be/KialZHRdD7A – sublime guitar and cello

https://youtu.be/yAP2m5FAVZE – what IS that coming down the street?

https://youtu.be/fo94vk9omJY – a little trombone warm-up piece

https://youtu.be/v2jHOKm9MyA – Dutch/Irish fusion

https://youtu.be/jrJXTvtZ1EU – Holst as you’ve probably not heard it

https://youtu.be/XDArbaWk3Ww – the Quarantine Trombone 4tet

https://youtu.be/m1FSR3wKgrk – did you know Mozart went to Cuba?

Virtually banding

Musicians up and down the country have missed their regular routines making music with fellow players and singers in recent months: we have been no exception. One way to do our best to keep our instruments oiled, our lips in trim and our feet tapping has been to create an online virtual performance – well done, David, for organising and collating this online rendering of Barnard Castle:

Meanwhile, our friend David (who visits us in Lyme and plays alongside us every summer) has been busy with fellow musicians in Lichfield:

Global support

Aren’t the internet and Facebook wonderful things – especially at the present time.  In response to our Facebook post on the recording we are working on, we received a message from Ben who plays in a band in New South Wales!  Ben’s band has recently completed a similar project and he has given us lots of great advice which has been very useful.

 

However, most of all we are all vastly encouraged that no matter how good a player you are, or how big your band is, we all struggle and feel really exposed playing and recording our part on our own.  Many thanks to Ben and best wishes to his band over in New South Wales from everyone in Lyme Regis Town Band, all twenty of us, including our six young trainees!

Taking the biscuit

Sadly we have to report that one of our bass players, Paul Snowball, who has been on a sabbatical for the past year, has now decided to leave the band due to other commitments. Paul had been with us for a considerable time and was a popular member of the band. In addition to being a valued player he served the band as Chairman for many years and he was excellent in this role.

Paul has shown tremendous commitment to the band over the years, particularly as he lives in Portland and always had a long journey home after practice. He will be greatly missed but the amount of chocolate biscuits consumed during our tea breaks will be vastly reduced …..so its not all bad!

So we are a man down! If there is anyone out there who would like to join the band please do not hesitate to get in touch. We welcome players of all ages and abilities, from experienced players to learners. Our players range in age from ten years old to eighty and we have spare instruments available, just waiting to be played. When things get back to normal we would love to see you – and we guarantee that there will now be plenty of chocolate biscuits available at tea break.

Zooming in

We’re still here and even though we are all self-isolating we’ve been very busy. Every Tuesday evening, when we would normally be practising, we are hooking up for a chat on Zoom, just to keep in touch with each other. There is even talk of a quiz at some point.

Also, like many bands we are working on putting together a recording of us all playing a particular March. We have been submitting our individual efforts to David, our MD, and he is going to knit them all together. Its been a steep learning curve for a lot of us with limited IT skills. What plugs in where for a start! However, we are making progress and hopefully we will be able to upload our efforts before too long, so watch this space…..

David writes from Lichfield

We hear that our very regular summer guest trombonist, David Thomas, has been busy along with the rest of his mates in the City of Lichfield Concert Band making the most of recent housebound weeks recording an online performance of Oklahoma.

David writes, “Hello!!! How are you all on this sunny (in the Midlands) Friday? Hoping you and yours are well .

“Our Super talented Maestro, Mark Vause has been busy: not only can he conduct awesomely, arrange music, and ski, but he has also been getting in touch with his Technical side and has organised us – his willing band members – into this treat of a lockdown piece.

“From the chatter on our band whatsapp, it is clear that we all had a whale of a time recording our parts at home.

“Here is our gift to you: ENJOY!!!!

https://youtu.be/QaG0yzR_ycg