Royston Town Band makes music during lockdown
- Credit: Archant
Royston Town Band has found ways to rehearse and perform together despite the coronavirus lockdown.
The band’s chair, Charmian Flowerday, told the Crow: “The band’s last rehearsal together before lockdown was a practice for the upcoming area contest, if we had known what was coming I think we would have made more of a big deal of it.
“There are lots of things that just aren’t the same in this new normal we find ourselves in, and playing live music together is one of them. We and many other music groups around the world quickly discovered that playing together using video conferencing software is basically impossible.
“Different equipment and speeds of internet connection create a ‘lag’ between you making a sound and someone else hearing it. The result is a musical mess.”
The band found that they could still meet virtually to socialise, and could rehearse by each playing along separately to a piece of music. Band members played at 8pm each Thursday to support the NHS, which they recorded and shared with each other.
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Charmian said: “We also started to think about what we were sharing with the local community – our summer programme was cancelled but we still wanted to play for people to hear. We sent out mini concerts by email to care homes, friends of the band and family.
“Virtual choirs, brass bands and other groups started to produce isolation performances – each person records their part separately and then it’s glued together digitally to make a whole performance.
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“We decided to give it a go and thanks to the technical wizardry of our MD Steve and great dedication from the band, who are all battling with different lockdown challenges, we produced the Great Escape (have a look for it on YouTube).”
In June the band also took part in the Whit Friday contest, which was run virtually, and came second out of 12 bands in their section.
Charmian hopes the band may soon be able to meet up outdoors while social distancing. She said: “I’m really proud of what the band has achieved, and the way that everyone has come together to keep making music for our community.”
To join or be added to the band’s friend list contact firstname.lastname@example.org.