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  • Writer's pictureCold Ash Brass

Band Update and BBE's Survey

I hope you are all safe and well!

I just wanted to write to you all with a brief update, especially regarding the latest updated government guidance on lockdown given this week.

As things are, we are still not going to be able to re-start rehearsals for the foreseeable future. BBE has released an updated guidance document which you can read in full here:

I’ve based most decisions up to now on BBE’s guidance and it is good to have some proper guidance from our own representative body.

Thatcham’s Arts Festival is still (for now) going ahead and would be our first gig back, which would require us to start rehearsing again from September, so I’ve updated our calendar to reflect this. If Schools do start to re-open from September onwards then, with some logistical changes, I do see this as possible! We shall have to wait and see how things progress over the coming weeks and months.

If Thatcham Arts festival were to be cancelled, I know that they are still keen to offer some kind of performance opportunities to local groups, so something like what we have been doing organised into a virtual concert is a possibility. I hope that you have been enjoying the process of recording your parts and then seeing our “virtual” performances coming together! I would like to continue to do this as long as you’re all still interested and keen to keep it up!

If you haven’t seen them yet, then check out our YouTube channel here:

If you’ve put your own performance together (a multitracked quartet, a duet performed with someone else, or anything along those lines) then please do email me about it. If I can help to put it together, or upload it to the channel then I will!

Talking about Brass Bands England, they are running a public consultation on contests and other aspects of banding here:

If you’re interested in adding your views, then please do take part in their survey and feel free to state your representation of CAB. Jemma and I have already taken part.

There are currently 4 parts and they are very in depth, so do be prepared to set aside some time to complete them. I think it’s a worthwhile thing to take part in though, especially if you’ve ever been frustrated with the way contests that we’ve taken part in are organised!

Looking further forward, unfortunately we got our dates mixed up for the Whit Friday march contest that we were hoping to organise for late May next year. Sadly, because it doesn’t fall in Half Term (as we’d hoped!) we won’t be able to take part after all, but we’ll keep looking forward and as and when the Whit Friday and school half term holidays do line up we’ll get there!

Jemma’s been working hard on our social stuff, and I’m really grateful to her for it. If you’ve not seen it, please get in touch with her about your interest in a quiz or a bingo night next week!

We’re Zooming tonight too, so I hope to catch up with you later on!

Cheers! Stay safe, and stay well!

- Matt



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