On 25th November we were lucky enough to be invited to a virtual meet up hosted by Making Music’s Chief Executive Barabara Eifler, where we had the opportunity to come together with other likeminded organizations; those who like us have long supported and worked with members of Making Music.
Prior to the meeting we were armed with the outcomes of the Making Music member research survey. It was hugely insightful for us to gain a greater understanding of the challenges you’ve all been facing in light of the pandemic and the catastrophic effect it has had on the joy you all gain from coming together to make music in your communities.
The main points discussed were the mammoth task of integrating technology into rehearsals, risk assessments causing chaos and for some, the devastating reality of having to press pause fully on making music for the foreseeable future. For us, it has been a year of cancellations and moving tours to another year, when there is a combined hope that we will have seen the back of our lives being affected so significantly by this historic pandemic.
Today this hope feels even more realistic as reports of several vaccines in their final stages seem very real and possible. Thank heavens for the work of our scientists!
But for now, we still have music making to deal with and doing so in the safest possible way. During our chat, it was evident that there was a real split in the camp. There were those whose musical directors and leaders had managed to pull off the mammoth task of socially distanced rehearsals and performances, and those that were hovering in the camp of wondering whether it was worth all the effort and whether the experience really would be that rewarding and enjoyable in this socially distanced format?
I’ll take my measure form Barbara – hearing of her experiences of her brass band performing (in a socially distanced style) and the joy she describes in being able to play and perform together in that way: ‘there’s nobody to hide behind, my music was actually heard!’ Her confidence in the joys it brought to them all was really quite uplifting and contagious.
Having that human presence and contact with fellow musicians and friends, ultimately getting back to what has always been an uplifting experience, was worth every bit of effort for her and her band. We all know the benefits that being part of an ensemble has on mental health – so maybe now is time for us all to start planning this journey again?
Small steps will be taken by more and more groups over the coming months and as a tour operator we hope the appetite for returning to touring will come with that growing desire to get things back on track.
We understand and appreciate that there will be concerns raised at each stage of this process but as a trusted concert tour operator with over 55 years’ experience, we can take responsibility for providing you with the answers and solutions to such questions as and when they arise.
So planning ahead as always is critical; start looking ahead to tours in 2021 or 2022, giving your group plenty of time to prepare. Have questions around travel insurance and how our COVID guarantee works? No problem. You just need to pick the phone up for a chat as our team are here and ready to answer your questions and support you every step of the way.
We’ve further developed our tours, covering each four corners of the UK and we’ve secured favourable agreements with our coach, flight and accommodation centres meaning you can plan ahead for adventures further afield with confidence.
We can’t thank Making Music members enough for supporting us over the years. Together we have to make one last big joint effort to make sure all the positive experiences we gain from travelling internationally and making music together.