Connecting during the Corona crisis – Annan Town BandMonday 18 May 2020
In our continuing series on how Scottish bands are staying connected during the Coronavirus pandemic, we take a look at Annan Town Band:
Annan Town Band in south-west Scotland was officially established in 1901, although records of a band in the town (then called the Lower Annandale Band) date back as far as 1834.
The band rehearses twice a week in its bandroom above the Blue Bell Inn and attracts players from right across Dumfries & Galloway and northern Cumbria, with some members making a round trip of up to 160 miles to attend practices.
Currently led by musical director Andrew Warriner and resident conductor Simon Railton, the band was crowned Scottish champion for the first time in its 28-year contesting history, winning the 2nd section and qualifying for the National Championships for the second time in three years.
A year ago the Annan travelled to Montreux in Switzerland (pictured below) after accepting SBBA's invitation to represent Scotland in the development section at the European Brass Band Championships. Band members were joined by numerous long-time friends and supporters from bands across the country for an unforgettable weekend of music making. SBBA education officer John Boax represented the association on stage with the band.
To mark the anniversary of their European performance, band secretary Samantha Bryden recreated a video montage of images from the trip captured by band members which was shared with fans on Facebook.
Like other musical groups, all practices and engagements have been put on hold for the foreseeable future, including the band's annual appearance at Annan Riding of the Marches which is one of the biggest events in the town calendar.
Despite not being able to see each other in the bandroom, the players are keeping in regular contact via social media and are planning for the future.
Furthermore, band members filmed themselves taking part in a ‘passing the band pencil’ challenge, with clips combined into one seamless video by cornet player Jackie Beckett. Annan musicians have been playing as part of the weekly Clap for Carers, especially poignant as some members work on the NHS front line. Others were proud to play the Last Post and other tunes to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Annan Town Band looks forward to getting back to performing soon and hopes everyone in the banding world is staying safe.
To find out more about what Annan Town Band has been getting up to during lockdown visit us on Facebook.
• Let us know about your band. Tell us about some of your successes, when you were founded, where and when you rehearse (when things are back to normal), and how your members are coping during the Coronavirus emergency situation.
Just send a couple of photos and a short write-up to Nigel Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org