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Abingdon Concert Band

                bingdon Concert Band WindsDespite not being able to rehearse
                since March, Abingdon Concert Band have kept busy. We’re aware

       A that, for many of our members, the regular contact with a group of like-

       minded people is as important as the musical side of things. Since March
       we’ve maintained a medley of online quizzes and chats alongside the video
       collages, made with no small degree of skill and patience by our Musical

       Director, Neil Brownless.

       Our members range from students from  Most  of  our members have attended  Recently, we even managed  to have
       nearby Oxford,  to  stalwarts who’ve  one of our regular online  video chats,  a  small  get-together  and  played
       played with us  for  several decades,  which  have enabled  members old  some socially  distanced  quintets in a
       including  one who  was a founding   and new to  keep in touch, and have  band member’s  garden. With  a  band
       member in 1977. We’ve even gained    actually  given  us more time to chat  numbering almost 60 it’s a shame to only
       some new players during  lockdown.   than we have at a regular  rehearsal.  be able to play in small groups, but after
       It seems that as some people have had a                                  this experiment we’re considering trying
       bit more time on their hands, they’ve  Several of  us  have hosted  online  to do more of this type of thing, if we can.
       dusted off their instruments and are  quizzes.These have been great fun and
       looking  for a way to make music     provided a  different way for  members
       together as soon as it’s possible. Having  to get involved  and keep in touch,
       no band on Thursday evenings has left a  without the  difficulties of  having lots of
       big gap in our week!                 people on a video chat at the same time!

       2019 was a really successful year for  We’ve thought  very hard about how to  observing social distancing guidelines,
       us musically, with highlights  including  resume rehearsals.  We conducted  a  but once we’re hiring the venue and
       a gold award at the National  Concert  survey of our members, which indicated  paying  our  Musical  Director,  we
       Band Festival at the Royal  Northern  that  the  vast  majority are keen to  require a minimum of  30 attendees at
       College  of Music  and  outdoor  concerts  rehearse as soon as we can demonstrate  our current subscription  rate to break
       at  Abingdon  Airshow  and Henley  Mill  that  we have a robust risk assessment  even. It’s sad that the finances have
       Meadows bandstand.  This  year’s  plans  in place.  The  guidance for  members  to  come into it,  but  this is also part  of
       included a  trip  to  the  seaside, for  of Making Music has been invaluable  the reality. We haven’t been asking
       which  we were hugely  looking forward  in this respect, helping us to interpret the  members  to pay subscription  fees as
       to  playing on the  newly refurbished  Government guidance,  and  providing  long as we’re unable to rehearse, as we
       bandstand in Swanage, Dorset.        templates for risk assessment etc.  know the pandemic has presented a
                                                                                challenge  to many people’s finances.
       We’re hoping that our members will stick  For  us,  the main difficulties are around  We have, however,  been able to  pay
       by us, and that we’ll be able to get back to  our size, but also the financial viability.  our Musical Director a ‘retainer’.
       rehearsals  and  start rearanging  those  Our regular rehearsal space can only
       plans soon.                          accommodate    around  15   people
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