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Corona virus/COVID-19 & community band



 
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Spit valve
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Joined: 28 Jun 2005
Posts: 84
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:56 am    Post subject: Corona virus/COVID-19 & community band Reply with quote

Our community band has not been able to practice for two months, and the church where we practice is closed until September. This means that for at least five months there will be no practice.

A good number (maybe 35%) of our members are "seniors" so I have some concern that it may not be advisable for them to return in the current environment. Also, if the the prohibition on large gatherings continues we won't be able to assemble to practice and we won't be able to hold concerts with 100+ in attendance.

1. How long can the band "hold together" under these conditions? Do you have any experience that might shed light on this question?

2. What is your community band doing to keep interest up at this time?
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blbaumgarn
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Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 9:24 pm    Post subject: corona virus/covid 19 and community band Reply with quote

Boy, you reminded me that the city band I used to play in would have a nice concert and some speaking in their Chautauqua Park on Memorial Day. I will have to call my brother to see if they are going to play. This would be, I believe, the 127th year of their existence. I feel for ya not being able to get together for practice. Some day soon the music will play, the voices of each instrument will sing out!!
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Comeback
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Joined: 22 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My community band is planning on restarting in early July. Like the OPs band, mine has a large percentage of senior members. Rehearsal venue is still a question. Whether or not some planned concerts will actually happen is a question as well.

Jim
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WxJeff
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Joined: 10 Dec 2002
Posts: 2330
Location: Atlanta GA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play in a 20 member church orchestra that accompanies a 60 voice choir. Obviously we have not met in quite some time either. The church opened its doors this past Sunday for the first time with a single service and best practices in place for seating, spacing, wipe downs etc. I think the contemporary worship guitar player and a couple vocalists led some of that genre worship songs.

The orchestra director approached the church staff about the possibility of small instrumental ensembles to play offertories and preludes in light of the fact that the full traditional church musical group will not be able to get together for the foreseeable future. They were very excited about this opportunity to bring instrumental music back into the service.

Perhaps community groups could break into smaller ensembles that allow for more space between musicians. Performances may have to be impromptu (show up in a public park unannounced?) to avoid the congregating of more the "X" number of attendees.
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pinstriper
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Joined: 25 Sep 2013
Posts: 312
Location: Portlandia, OR

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our two bands (east and west side of the city) also fit the pattern. Mostly 50+ with a few youngsters scattered in. We practice at city facilities/community centers.

We have been having two zoom meetings a week with some local pro musicians on a variety of topics and also to stay connected.

I have missed a few recently due to other commitments (no, really !)

I will say that right at the start of the year a problem developed that turned out to be a herniated disc in my neck, which has prevented me from holding the instrument or being in a proper playing posture, so I have set the horn aside for a while to heal. I do some light buzzing here and there and some very short periods of soft long tones just to keep the lips a little pliable.

Things are starting to settle down in my neck, so hoping by the time things restart I'll be able to play again.
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WxJeff
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Joined: 10 Dec 2002
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Location: Atlanta GA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, man. So sorry to hear about that. I guess this is one of those things that only heals with time, or did you require surgery?

I always shake my head at Peyton Manning's decision to continue playing football after his neck surgery. Obviously it worked out for him but what a risk management decision! I'm guessing you had some similar thoughts when the desire to play became strong.
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pinstriper
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Joined: 25 Sep 2013
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Location: Portlandia, OR

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have so far managed to avoid surgery. There is a non-zero chance I will go ahead with a cortisone shot into the disc, but hoping to avoid that as well.

It has gotten to the point where the inflammation is down a lot, so if I can avoid irritating it long enough to get some healing (18+ months) it should more or less go back to normal, within the bounds of good taste as they apply to a man in his late 50's.

Bad sleeping/pillow position is the most immediate trigger day by day, but of course avoiding any kind of traumatic injury or even over-exertion while also attempting to rehab some strength into the supporting musculature is going to be the long term determinant.
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trumpetchops
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Joined: 29 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play with a 70 pc. (or so) band. Mixed ages, not too many really older people. We rehearse at a school. I don't know if the school will ever let us back.

Everybody in the band still has their music because of the way things ended. If somehow we do get together again, will we ever get enough music back to perform it again? I'll bet I have 20 or so pieces. A big loss to the band to lose those arrangements.

I can't see the band playing again but, who knows.

Now, what about the professional bands? My gigs are being cancelled about a month ahead. I don't see that coming back any time soon.

What about a band like the NYP or BSO?
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Seymor B Fudd
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Joined: 17 Oct 2015
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Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 1:55 am    Post subject: Re: Corona virus/COVID-19 & community band Reply with quote

Spit valve wrote:
Our community band has not been able to practice for two months, and the church where we practice is closed until September. This means that for at least five months there will be no practice.

A good number (maybe 35%) of our members are "seniors" so I have some concern that it may not be advisable for them to return in the current environment. Also, if the the prohibition on large gatherings continues we won't be able to assemble to practice and we won't be able to hold concerts with 100+ in attendance.

1. How long can the band "hold together" under these conditions? Do you have any experience that might shed light on this question?

2. What is your community band doing to keep interest up at this time?



I play in three bands, brassband plus two big bands. Neither band has been rehearsing since beginning of March.....The big bands are 1) a swingband that essentialy is a follow up of a very successful swingband started already late 1968....we had a regular gig every Monday during 9 years - then the band turned into a more modern band; this means that, the guys in the present band are 70+, with the exeption of 2 players. The last years the band has become sort of a "enterprise" meeting every third week - concert coming up mid October - but I seriously doubt that this will happen - and fear that the band will "cease to be". Already we are short of a pianoman, and a second alto - difficult to find guys wanting to play these old scores (Stampede, Cotton Tail, Song of India etc).2)a more modern big band, main orientation "the great american songbook. Already two concerts with the music of the "Ratpackers. " has been cancelled. The mean age is around 70..... 3)the brassband where many of us are oldies, well above 70 but we have youngsters too and they have been playing if not rehearsing.

So in all this is a fatal blow to the musical scene.......Listening to the head epidemologist of WHO does not give any hope at all.....he predicted another year going in the same direction.
Personally I try to practice every day - am in pretty good shape I think. Using the time to re-learn and update my playing over all, focussing on breathing, sluring, high register. But sometimes it´s hard to mobilize the motivation. Main thing keeping me going is that at my age, still playing lead/front row I just can´t afford a longer lay off which would make the road back too cumbersome. As I am quarantined at our cottage in a lake&forest district I mix felling trees, updating the housing facilities, and practicing 3-4 times a day.
The concept grit seems relevant..... perseverance, endurance, stamina not mention patience.....

Maybe this could be looked upon as a "stress test".....which bands/guys will appear at the end of the tunnel????
I find it worthwile to mail funny or awesome clips to the bands - the fanfare by Copland one of them. "Oughta cheer up the poor devils.." Mending/minding the social links is necessary, I think.

What are your ways&means???
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