The year 2020 has been challenging for all bands. With national lockdowns forcing us to stay indoors, we are unable to go to band rehearsals. So what else is there? Since March the Lydney Town and Training Bands have been hard at work running online events, competitions, and masterclasses to keep their players motivated and playing together. This week they released a new video that showcases their activities.
Lydney Band has been running a weekly ‘Open Mic Night’ in the form of Facebook Watch Parties on our Facebook group. All members have the opportunity to record themselves performing a solo, multi-track, or distanced collaboration to a friendly audience of playing members and supporters of the band posting live comments and feedback. So far, they have had 25 Watch Parties with a total of 66 different performers, 57 solos and 17 duets, predominantly children learners form the Training Band but also from senior band members and friends of the band, including 5 guest players: Paul Richards (soprano, Flowers Band), Jon Griffin (cornet, ex-Sunlife Band), Ross Dunne (tenor horn, Tredegar Town Band), and the band’s conductors Kevin Ford (tenor horn) and Thomas Dunne (euphonium, also plays in Filton Concert Brass).
Kerry Ford (Band Secretary) and Thomas Dunne (Town Band MD) have produced a series of Tuesday Tips videos covering a wide range of aspects of brass playing for learners and more experienced players. These aspects ranged from the fundamentals of breathing, listening, and pitching to tonguing, high register playing, and musical expression. You can view these videos on the band’s website and YouTube channel.
During the break from rehearsals, Lydney have also renovated their bandroom, making improvements to the electrics, insulation, painting, and fencing. They have taken part, as many GBBA bands have, in the NHS celebrations, VE Day, and Remembrance Day, playing outside our respective homes to thank those keyworkers during the COVID crisis, and to remember those we have lost.
With the help of some technical wizardry, Lydney have produced a series of Cory-inspired distanced videos. You can view other GBBA bands’ videos by Pheonix Brass and Nailsworth Silver on the GBBA website.
In the lull between the lockdown waves, Lydney were able to fit in 3 outdoor rehearsals and 4 indoor rehearsals following the government guidelines for COVID-secure rehearsals before the second wave. This provided a much needed uplift in spirits to see friendly faces.
For more information about Lydney Town and Training Band, check out their website www.lydneyband.co.uk or contact Band Secretary and Youth Development Officer Kerry Ford via 07554540469 and firstname.lastname@example.org.