#47 A Brave New World

From Newsletter 47
My First Term As Administrator
By Catherine Shackell

It was lovely if somewhat daunting to receive so many kind and welcoming messages from you all when I started as Administrator in September. I say daunting, because the adjective ‘brave’ seemed to appear slightly too frequently for comfort…

Anyway, I appear to have survived my first term relatively unscathed although I have to confess that after getting married, moving house and starting a new job all in the space of 4 months I’m very much looking forward to a quiet Christmas!
My first term has been a whirl of events, emails, enrolment forms and an alarmingly steep technological learning curve (RSS, html, php includes, MySql mean anything to any of you?!)

A new group was born in Spennymoor. Our Composers & Arrangers have returned with renewed vigour. The Baroque Ensemble spurred on by their fabulous concert in September now meet weekly. We had our first opportunity to play Swing Band music. And we have inadvertently produced a very listenable CD of our Mozart Concert with Anthony Sargent. (I say inadvertently because we didn’t especially set out to make a CD).

We’ve also had more than our fair share of technical gremlins this term, with various email providers sporadically deciding that our mailouts are actually spam. Oh, how foolish I was to think that digging a hole in the road, pulling up the driveway and drilling through the wall to install the new Cobwebs phone-line would be the end of the little technological critters.

My apologies to those of you have been affected by the over zealous spam filters, and my thanks for your patience. We are posting copies of all our mailouts on the official Cobwebs blog and you will be also able to access events information via our website, so if you think you might have missed something you will be able to check there – but also please do let me know if our messages aren’t reaching you.

As those of you who’ve been reading our blog will know, Cobwebs has been expanding its international networks too this term. We seem to be generating increasing interest in the US. So much so that Andy was awarded a scholarship to visit America in November to see how community orchestras do things on the other side of the pond.

We’ve also been getting noticed slightly closer to home. The Cobweb Orchestra has won an EPIC Award for Innovation as well as coming runner up in the Creativity category, so we’ll be going to the House of Lords to collect our prize in January – well, maybe not all of us… How big is it? Would we even fit in, I wonder?

How many orchestras can fit all that into just a few weeks? Thank you to everyone who puts so much time and effort into helping us deliver such a fantastic array of opportunities for everyone – we wouldn’t be able to do any of it without you.

Posted by Catherine Shackell