As we start the New Year, everyone associated with Phoenix Brass Band would like to express our appreciation and gratitude to all our supporters during 2020. The year has been particularly difficult for everyone and we would like to thank you for your continued support throughout these unprecedented times.
Many of us will want to put 2020 behind us, either having lost loved ones, possibly having been seriously ill with the virus or having suffered greatly as a direct result of the restrictions imposed.
From the moment in March 2020 when Boris Johnson urged us all to stay indoors, musical groups across the divide faced a blanket ban on rehearsing and performing. The specific methods of brass playing have made any return of brass banding a big challenge. Research from various bodies confirmed that playing a brass instrument increased the level of potentially contaminating airborne droplets, although later this was confirmed as being much reduced than singing or breathing.
While socially distanced outdoor rehearsals were possible, these were not always practical and required much thought and the completion of Risk Assessments. The practicality and reality of the usual band rehearsal, with a full Band totalling 25 players, in close proximity in the band room at Froxfield War Memorial Hall made social distancing virtually impossible. Even a search for other locations to rehearse was met with strict hire conditions and an imposition on numbers that could attend any rehearsal activity.
All summer engagements were soon cancelled and this was quickly followed by the cancellation of all the Christmas engagements during autumn, leading to Phoenix Brass falling silent since early March 2020.
As with many bands, Phoenix Brass is a family affair, with spouses and siblings making up the band today, and this has reflected the rise of Phoenix Brass since its formation back in May 1993. For most players, the absence of any playing has been tinged with great sadness and despondency but we have had to consider the risk of Covid19 on players and their immediate families, especially given the diversity in age and vulnerability across the Band player population.
Whilst the current lockdown again imposes restrictions, and the current Covid19 numbers across the UK have massively increased, the news about the availability of vaccinations during the forthcoming months does, I sincerely hope, give Phoenix Brass the real possibility to return to brass banding in the near future.
I remain optimistic that Phoenix Brass will return to rehearsal activity and performing at engagements later this year. It has been a great struggle without any engagement income since a year ago during Christmas 2019. It will continue to be a struggle at first when we all return, but I know that the players will be eager to fight and get back to where the Band was pre Covid19. I know that all the players will be there when we can return and that is how Phoenix Brass Band, as a family, works.
If you are reading this and are interested in joining Phoenix Brass when we can safely return to brass banding, then the Band usually rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday at Froxfield War Memorial Hall from 7:30pm to 9.30pm. We also have a Training Band for completely new players, or previous players who wish to resume their musical skills, that normally meets at the Froxfield War Memorial Hall on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in joining or would like more information, please visit our Website (www.phoenixbrassband.co.uk).
Finally, if you are interested in booking Phoenix Brass during 2021, please do get in touch using the details on our Contact Page on the Band Website or via our Facebook Page. We recommend contacting us as soon as possible.
From Phoenix Brass Band, we hope that 2021 will bring you health, happiness and a vaccination.
We do hope to see you again in 2021!
Book Phoenix Brass Band
Phoenix Brass is available for hire for many different types of event, so please do make contact if you are interested in booking us. The Band provides brass band music for a wide variety of events.