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Playing through the Pandemic

During the Covid 19 Pandemic year, we learned new ways of playing music together, and sharing it with our audience.

We made three recordings, with video, and so our audience could see familiar faces, and hear us without moving from their armchairs.

In February the string section and wind section recorded separately. The wind players recorded individually to a metronome marking, while the strings were sent a backing track prepared by section leaders. They then recorded their own playing while listening on headphones to the track. Not an easy task for everyone!

In April all the orchestra joined for a recording of “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Everyone recorded their part while listening to a keyboard backing track.

We were lucky that Jonny Lo, who was to have retired as Musical Director, stayed with us during the 2020 – 21 season, and he was an inspiration. It was Jonny who “mixed” the music, and created final videos that you can watch and listen to by clicking on the links below. Jonny can be seen “conducting” the Mozart strings, and “Nimrod” too. We are hugely grateful to him.

We also held Zoom sessions for Patrons, Sponsors and volunteer helpers, when Jonny presented the music, and there were enjoyable open discussions about how we’d done the recordings, and how we were getting on in general.


Winds playing Minuet and Trio from Mozart Serenade in C min K388:

Strings playing 1st movement of Mozart Divertimento in D maj. K136:

Orchestra playing “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations:

Here are some of the comments we received following the Zoom sessions, and also after recordings were emailed out to our many audience members on our mailing list:

"It was a real delight as well as an education to watch people who love music make music under such difficult circumstances"

"This was a lovely bright moment in a musically miserable lockdown. Congratulations to all!"

"Fabulous. Thank you. Can't wait to be able to see you again live."

"Thank you so much for keeping things together during lockdown. I look forward so much to hearing your next live concert."

"I absolutely loved that.Tears rolling down my cheeks in a few minutes! Beautiful! Thank you all "

"I would like to add how impressed I was with Jonny’s enthusiasm, presentation and explanation of what must have been a very time-consuming and complicated procedure."


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