O little town in the bleak mid-winter

Lyme Regis Town Band valliantly turned out this morning to play a few carols in Broad Street. We intended to play at the base of the Christmas Tree but due to the weather we ended up in the alleyway leading to the Masonic Hall.
The front half of the band was out in the drizzle, with the back half in the alleyway, sheltered from the rain but barely able to stand up in the howling gale blowing in off the sea!
However we played for half an hour
and were well supported by a group of enthusiastic friends and family.
Sadly it will now be a while before we can all get together again but we will do so as soon as we possibly can and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be back on the seafront next summer.
In the meantime we send everyone our best wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. Gilly

Christmas with a difference

This afternoon we were delighted to take part in an outdoor Drive-in Carol Service organised by Alan Vian on behalf of local churches. It was extremely well organised and social distancing was observed at all times.
It was held in the car park at Woodmead Halls in Lyme Regis, by kind permission of Lyme Regis Town Council. About fifty cars were parked, well spaced out and all facing the same way, with their occupants sitting inside with the windows open. Revd Chris Martin from the St Michael’s Parish Church and Chris Woodman, the Pastor from Lyme Regis Baptist Church, were on a flatbed truck facing the “congregation” and they led the service supported by Alan and the Mayor, Councillor Brian Larcombe, who read the lesson.
The band played five carols and brought the service to a close with “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. There was a lovely atmosphere at this unusual event – when invited to do so the congregation communicated by flashing their lights and beeping their horns!
Two of our trainees played with us, brothers Enzo and Orlando, and we also welcomed a guest player, Rosanne Jardine, who joined us on flugel – a most welcome addition to the band. We are hoping to persuade her to join us on future occasions when she is available.
It was a lovely afternoon and we were delighted to take part. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over twelve months since we last played at an event.
Before we put our instruments away again, for however long it takes to defeat this virus, a few of us will be playing carols one more time on Wednesday, 23rd December at 11.00 am. We will be located outside, at the base of the large Christmas tree at the bottom of the main street in Lyme Regis and once again we will be observing social distancing with covers over the bells of our instruments. This time we are supporting the Lyme Regis Rotary Club who will be collecting in town for a local charity. Alan will also be on hand, once again, to ensure that crowds don’t gather!
Thanks to Enzo and Orlando’s Dad, Justin, for taking these photos. Gilly
P.S. A video of the event is viewable at https://bit.ly/2MbmY9h
P.S.

Sleigh Ride

Our friend David Thomas, trombonist from Lichfield, sent us this link to another of his band’s jolly online collaborative projects: this time something seasonal. You can’t fail to enjoy this – a real toetapper to lift us out of the gloom and transport us at a stroke to the right mood for Christmas.

 

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!