Leighton-Linslade Concert Band return from lockdown with renewed vigour

Why not get involved in the Leighton Buzzard Observer’s Happy Returns feature too?

Friday, 25th June 2021, 3:59 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:00 pm

With society opening up in line with the Government’s roadmap out of the pandemic, the Leighton Buzzard Observer wants to be with our readers every step of the way.

We want to hear your positive stories about how you/your family, your business, your club/society or maybe your sports team is re-emerging from the restrictions which have made the past year so challenging. See details at the end of this article for more details on getting involved.

Here, Leighton-Linslade Concert Band tells its story...

Lockdown members
Lockdown members

What great excitement on May 18 among the members of the Leighton-Linslade Concert Band (LLCB), when they returned to band practice again after more than a year of lockdown restrictions.

During that year they had been able to stay connected through weekly newsletters from the Director of Music, Steve Kent, and through recordings in isolation.

The recordings had enabled them to continue to do some practising “together” at home, though it was a steep learning curve for everyone!

Recording in kitchens, bedrooms, and even hay barns, using mobile phones and laptops isn’t the easiest, but all agreed that it was rewarding and definitely worth the effort. We have all learned many IT skills which have enabled us to become experts on Zoom and to find our way around our various electronic devices.

May's return

However, throughout that strange year we sorely missed live music and the camaraderie of our weekly rehearsals, which we had taken for granted, and have now returned with a renewed energy and passion for our music.

From the start in March 2020 John, our Covid co-ordinator has done a sterling job of keeping abreast of the Government regulations, always putting a hopeful spin on the data to keep our spirits up but, at the same time, being realistic about the situation.

In preparation for restarting rehearsals under Covid-safe conditions on May 18, he drew up a detailed risk analysis document which provided guidance for us all. Each player is seated in their own “pod” at 2 metre distance from others; and a plastic screen for the Director of Music, moisture guards for instruments and music supplied from a “digital” library give us confidence that we are staying safe and keeping others safe too.

Thanks must also go to Mike, the manager of our practice venue, who has also worked hard to ensure that we are following Government regulations and enabling us to restart as soon as regulations permitted.

A big thank you must go to our wizards of modern technology, Becca and Helen, who made the lockdown recordings possible by preparing backing tracks for us and skilfully working on the individual recordings which weren’t exactly virtuoso standard!

Through their skill and perseverance we have been able to enjoy several Facebook recordings, including summer and Christmas 2020 and Valentine’s Day and Easter 2021 which gave us all a tremendous sense of achievement at a time when things seemed quite bleak.

After the disappointment of the cancellation of our 2020 concerts in Bedford, Chesham, Northampton, and our own Parson’s Close, as well as our concert for the Mayor’s Charities, we are delighted to be working on a new repertoire in preparation for the 2021 season, culminating in our concert in Parson’s Close on the Sunday of the August Bank Holiday - August 29 - and we hope to see many of you there.

The Leighton-Linslade Concert Band, a wind orchestra - consisting of woodwind brass and percussion - was formed in 2008 by the original Director of Music, Bill Pollard. The band has members from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

We welcome brass players, woodwind players and percussionists. If you enjoy playing a wide range of music styles and you are interested in joining a friendly ensemble please email: [email protected]. Visit our Facebook page if you wish to find out more.

The band rehearses every Tuesday throughout the year at Sacred Heart Church Hall, 5 Beaudesert, Leighton Buzzard, Beds. LU7 1HZ between 7.45pm and 9.45pm.

> Why not get involved in the Leighton Buzzard Observer’s Happy Returns feature? We’d be delighted to hear details of how businesses and the community are emerging from the restrictions of the pandemic.

It might be news of a business relaunching, your youth sports team resuming its matches, how your school is coping with the ongoing challenges, how your club or society is ditching Zoom and is looking to meet face-to-face again, a family reunion or celebration which can finally go ahead, or the many other examples of events and activities we all took for granted slowly returning.

This is a great chance to tell your story over the coming weeks and months ahead. Submit 100-300 words to this newspaper on how the pandemic has had an impact, how you’ve kept going and most importantly news of your ‘Happy Return’ when it’s deemed safe.

We’d also love to receive photos of those joyful reunions/reopenings. Please send all details to [email protected]