Yesterday's announcement by the Government has seen us cancel all rehearsals in May, with the likelihood that it will be sometime before full Band rehearsals can resume.
As you know we recently lost the Band's founder Dennis Carney. His family have set up an online Condolences Book, so if you would like to pay a tribute to Dennis please see the following link. It would help the family if as well as quoting your name you also state how you knew Dennis as they are aware there are a vast range of people they do not know.
Following the cancellation of so many of the VE Celebrations, Brass players were asked to help mark the event by performing the Last Post at 2.55pm on VE Day. Along with hundreds of other Bands we signed up to do this, and you can see our efforts on this website.
If you missed any of our other “Virtual Performances” just click on the YouTube icon and this will take you to our own YouTube Channel. As you can see whilst we are apart, we are still busy. Plans are now underway for our next performance!
The Band keeps in touch via a regular Zoom Meetings on a Monday evening but we are all yearning for the day when we can start making music again.
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent"
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update
29th March 2020
We thought now would be a good time to update you on the impact of the current situation on the Band.
We had our last rehearsal on Monday 16th March. Brass players are particularly vulnerable to spreading the virus, whilst playing, microscopic droplets of water can be projected from the instrument. We followed the advice given by the various Brass Band associations to cease rehearsals a week before the Government issued advice not to have large social gatherings.
The London and Southern Counties National Brass Band Championship qualifying heats were due to be held over the weekend of 21st & 22nd March, they were cancelled resulting in no Bands from this region being put forward to attend the National Finals.
We fully expect our programme of events to be severely restricted for many months to come. A performance at a VE Day celebration event on 8th May has been cancelled, and whilst still currently scheduled to go ahead we fully expect our Concert on 7th June at Forest School to be cancelled. Once a firm decision has been made, we will let you know. Rest assured that if anyone has already purchased a ticket for this event, we will provide a full refund.
Our quiz night on 16th May has been postponed and we will publish a new date for this, later in the year.
A decision regarding our performance at Brass on the Grass on 18th July has yet to be made. This event is not organised by the Band, so we will abide by the decision of the organisers.
At the moment we are not scheduled to rehearse again until Monday 20th April however, we are not optimistic that this will be the case and expect further cancellations to take place.
On a brighter note the Band are pleased to announce that they will undertake a tour of Belgium next year and are hopeful that this will include performances at the iconic Ghent Music Festival and at the daily memorial service at the Menin Gate at Ypres.
This is a difficult time for all, and while we appreciate that music is not a major concern for everyone we do know that it does bring a great deal of pleasure to many people, we will keep you fully updated of events as and when decisions are known. In the meantime, thank you for your support and keep safe.
Fairlop Brass Band
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 2
15th April 2020
As you can imagine we are still not rehearsing and have cancelled all rehearsals until 11th May, this is quite a critical date for us, if we are not back rehearsing by then it will be difficult for us to stage our concert on 7th June at Forest School. The prognosis is quite bleak as we are not expecting the existing lockdown to be reversed when it is reviewed later this week. Even once restrictions start to lift, we feel that it will be some time before rehearsals and concerts can be held. However, we are always hopeful and will not cancel anything until we have to.
Brass on the Grass is due to be held on 18th July. The good news is that the new Vicar has said she is happy for her garden to be used to stage this event. We have spoken to the organisers at St. Nicholas Church and they have said they will make a decision about the feasibility of staging the concert at the beginning of June.
During this strange period, I have been sending the players links to practice and technical tips to help them keep their lips in shape. Last month Gary Thwaites (Trombone) had the idea that we could give a “virtual performance” with each player recording their own part and then submitting it to be mixed together. What an undertaking this turned out to be. It is very difficult to play your own part in time to a metronome beat and the task of stitching it all together was immense. Enormous thanks to Andy Carter (Percussion) who took on this unenviable task, but if you look at the video on the website, I think you will agree it was worthwhile.
Singin in the Rain seemed an apt piece as it is about making the most of difficult circumstances and after being on our Facebook page for less than a day it has already had over 6,000 views – not a bad effort for a local lower section Band. It appears to have been so popular we may do another!!
We will issue a further update once we have more information, in the meantime, please keepsafe.
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 3
24th April 2020
The Band remains in lockdown, and we have this week taken the very difficult decision to cancel our Summer Concert at Forest School on 7th June.
Over the last week the members of the Band who take a major role in staging concerts have been exchanging e-mails and last night we had a video conference call where the difficult decision was made. After taking all the relevant factors into account, player and audience safety, logistics, financial implications and significantly, musical standards, coupled with the current unprecedented conditions it made good sense to take this decision. This was made easier by the very reasonable approach of Forest School who are allowing us to cancel this concert and re-book for 2021 at no financial cost to us. We have been very impressed with the School so far, and can only thank them for their support.
We are astounded that our Singin in the Rain virtual performance now has approaching 9,000 views on Social Media, it is now also available on YouTube as well as our website. Such was the success we have undertaken another, more ambitious project, and hopefully you will see the results soon.
The Band has recently had two very successful video conference calls with over 20 players on each, which made it very chaotic but good fun and a great way of keeping in touch.
We have players who are giving impromptu performances as part of the “Clap for Carers” each Thursday, and we hope many will be involved in a project we have only just been made aware of. At 2.55pm on 8th May players are being encouraged to play 'The Last Post' as part of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of VE Day. We hope to have videos of these performances on our website
We are aware that these are very difficult times for all, so we are pleased to have made a small donation to our Charity Partner “Maggies” who care for people living with Cancer and with whom the Band have a long association.
Please follow government guidelines and keep safe.
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 4
2nd May 2020
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Dennis Carney who was the founder of the Band, our first Musical Director and Life President. Dennis passed away quite suddenly at home a few days ago.
We will publish a full obituary in due course, but most people will know the incredible part he played in Fairlop Brass.
Dennis was just a couple of weeks short of his 84th birthday and devoted his life to education and music. He had the rare distinction of starting two Brass Bands, Fairlop Brass and Gaynes School Brass Band, which unfortunately is no longer in existence.
We will publish details of his funeral when it is known, in the meantime our condolences go to his family and the wide circle of friends, colleagues and former pupils that this wonderful man touched.
To Dennis, the most important thing was to meet to make music and he was very impressed with the efforts Fairlop Brass are undertaking to carry on making music during these difficult times. With this in mind we have dedicated our latest virtual performance (Aces High - which is on our Youtube channel) to him – he would have been so proud.
Hopefully you will have attended one of our Christmas Concerts and understand the link between Aces High and Bavaria.
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 5
11th May 2020
Whilst there has been some relaxation in the lockdown regulations, these have had little impact on the Brass Band world and we still have no idea when we can resume rehearsals.
The return of full rehearsals for Brass Bands may be some time off. Covid-19 is easily spread via minute droplets of water and these do emerge from the bells of brass instruments, many of which are pointed at other players within the Band – and a lot at me as Conductor!!
So, we are still in a “wait and see” mode. The Band has a weekly Zoom call on a Monday evening, which are fun but no real substitute for meeting up for a full rehearsal.
We have been busy putting together another “Virtual Performance” which you will see on the website. Why not take the opportunity to click on the YouTube icon and go to our YouTube channel to see all our efforts. The latest piece typifies the fun within the Band and in music and, once again, our thanks go to Andy Carter for the immense amount of work he puts in to bringing these things together.
The funeral of Dennis Carney took place yesterday, and despite the limitation in numbers attending the Band were very well represented. A full memorial to Dennis and how to make donations in his name or an entry into his online Condolence Book can be found .
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 6
3rd June 2020
Whilst the relaxation of lockdown regulations continues, there has still been no indication as to when Brass Bands may resume full rehearsals.
There has been an increased level of lobbying for professional musicians to resume rehearsal and performance, and once this has been agreed then there may be some hope for the huge amateur music population. However, with a possible “spike” in the number of Covid-19 cases following the relaxation of regulations, it is still a case of wait and see.
The Band remain active with a weekly Zoom meeting, and we have just finished recording another virtual performance. This is currently being edited and should appear on our website within the next week or so. A further recording is planned and we are now starting to look at placing our First CD, (Collection) which has sold out, on our YouTube channel.
Last Monday we also held an “online” 100 club draw, as we felt we could delay these no longer as we were running 5 months behind. Our 100 Club Organiser, Gary Thwaites, has sent out details of the winners.
Nevertheless, nothing is a substitute for making music together and we are all desperate to get back to playing as a Band.
You may be interested to know that donations to St. Francis Church in memory of our founder, Dennis Carney, amounted to £500. The Church, and the Band, would like to thank all who contributed.
Our thoughts are currently with our Principal Cornet Adam Cuttell, and his family following the passing of his wife, Diane, after a long and brave fight against illness
Fairlop Brass - Virus Update 7
8th July 2020