Music Matters: Something to sing about at last

Last month’s Government roadmap out of lockdown, whilst hotly debated, has provided the clearest indication yet of a plan to return to most regular activities, writes Peterborough Music Hub. 

Sunday, 7th March 2021, 7:27 am
Jazz in the Studios
Jazz in the Studios

The path will be hard, and the dates identified are strictly subject to further delays and change. However, the news has generated a flurry of musical activity with several festival organisers announcing dates for events.

Taking the decision to proceed with planning any large-scale event in 2021 will be fraught with complications, but for commercial operators the economic return will be significant. 

With the benefit of lessons learned last summer, the potential for a range of outdoor music events will see a welcome return to performances. As ever, customer confidence will be key to financial success, but it is believed audiences are more than ready to buy tickets.

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The importance of the arts to the health and wellbeing continues to receive press attention and ever wider public acknowledgement. Discussions around providing extra hours of academic learning for pupils, enabling them to catch up after a hugely disruptive year, advocates sport, music, and drama as essential parts of the programme. Locally, Peterborough Music Hub will support efforts to bring music tuition and performance opportunities to the city’s young singers and players. For information and advice email: [email protected]

The pandemic has certainly seen organisations and individuals come up with a range of creative solutions enabling them to make music. A school in the US has invested in individual tents enabling the orchestra to rehearse and play together. Not hugely practical in many ways, but incredibly resourceful and effective.

Technology has also played a significant role in developing creativity. Live streaming, recorded concerts, online teaching, Zoom orchestras and choirs have all become part of our new normal.

Many musicians have used lockdown to enhance their technical skills. A vocalist from Essex features in a popular online video singing all nine parts of his arrangement of The Lord Bless You and Keep You. His well edited and executed performance brings a one-man choir to life and has already entertained several thousand online viewers. 

The first real test of the new roadmap will come from the return to school. The short spell of classes before Easter will offer a glimpse of the potential impact of this decision before further measures are relaxed.  In the background arts and cultural organisations will positively plan for resuming activities and, once again, the public will be encouraged to support the reintroduction of events, but with safety at the forefront of delivery. It is likely social distancing and other measures will continue for some months to come. 

In the meantime, online projects are always on offer and Stamford Arts Centre’s Jazz in The Studio series welcomes Helen Gayle and Matthew Ratcliffe. This free to view pre-recorded concert is available from Friday 12 March at 8pm, via Facebook / YouTube. Visit: www.stamfordartscentre.com

With Spring on the horizon, the vaccine programme continuing to gather momentum and a world of music to enjoy, there are certainly a few things to things to sing about this month – but safely, as always, of course.