For Bon Accord, the show goes on during lockdownThursday 14 May 2020
In these times of lockdown, isolation and separation, here is a heartening example of grit and determination from Bon Accord Silver Band that the show must go on…
Anyone who plays in a brass band will tell you, yes, it's about the music. But it's more than that. For thousands across the country, their band is their family. However, with bandroom doors likely to remain shut for the foreseeable future, what happens when the music stops?
For the Bon Accord Silver Band – which numbers some 60 players across two bands – the challenge of staying connected during lockdown has been enthusiastically met. It had looked set to be an exciting year for the Aberdeen outfit, with an historic second place at the Scottish Championships in March seemingly securing them a dream appearance at the National Final at London's Royal Albert Hall in October.
But even as the chances of fulfilling that dream gradually disappear into the (social) distance, the band are determined not to let any forthcoming disappointment dampen team morale.
On Tuesday the band saw a bumper turnout at their first ever 'virtual' AGM at which 36 members and their families got together online to celebrate the joys of spreadsheet accounting! As if to underline the inclusive nature of banding, attendees ranged from pensioner to the newest member of the band family, one-month old Finlay.
The AGM also saw the bands' annual "Players' Player" awards, voted for by the bandsfolk themselves. The winner of the Silver Band award was principal euphonium Richard Kidd, with the B Band award going to Christopher Wylie for his own principal euph efforts, as well as his sterling work in revamping the band's website.
Both bands have been keeping busy during the lockdown and embracing the 'new normal', putting out Meet the Player features via the band website and Facebook page, as well as organising a well-attended weekly Zoom quiz night with the winner staying on to host the following week's edition.
These evenings have become a great success not only for current members to catch up with each other, but also enabling former members of the band family now based further afield to join in the fun.
In addition to staying connected with each other, the band is also making an effort to stay in touch with their local community in and around Aberdeen. In normal times both bands have a busy year-round programme of local community and charity concerts in addition to their contesting duties, and community involvement is a large part of the organisation's ethos.
With this in mind – and with players needing something to keep lips and fingers in trim – music has been scanned and emailed to players for home practice, with the aim of putting together 'virtual' performances that can be sent to these venues for sharing with their regular audiences until such time as concerts can resume.
Keep up to date with all of the latest information from the Bon Accord Silver Band family on Facebook, or at their website www.bonaccordband.org.uk