Cobweb News

Thank you to all of you who supported our last event of the year, with Fenella and Daniel playing such an amazing rendition of the Bruch Violin Concerto.

Please view our  Events Diary for events for January and how to enrol.

We are very sad to announce the news of the death of Bryan Jackson, one of the Cobweb Orchestra’s most loyal supporters. Bryan played with us for 25 years. This was as various times a soloist, a leader and conductor, but above all he will be remembered for his kindness, always advising and supporting player less experienced than himself. He will be hugely missed.

Here is a final message from Andy Jackson before we sign off for a Christmas break:

Dear Players,

2020 and beyond

I won’t pretend that it hasn’t been a challenge, but, as a year dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic nears its end, I think some tentative, socially distanced back-slapping is in order.

Being denied the chance for in-person music making for most of 2020, we’ve had to make the most of what wireless technology has to offer. Personally, I wasn’t looking forward to grappling with Zoom, Facetime and music editing programmes, but I’ve learnt to handle it at a basic level and even enjoy it for some of the benefits it offers, such as being able to put on performances with the Cobweb Virtual Orchestra (now in the middle of its 5th production), to meet up every fortnight to play and chat about music at our Bookclub, and to host monthly Virtual Concert Parties. We’ve also been able to enjoy “listen or play” recitals with with wonderful professional players and in October organised an extended weekend of activities to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

We formed a “Playing @ Home” group to explore other online possibilities which resulted in a number of activities being set up:

Theory classes, the Music by Heart Orchestra (currently learning Mozart’s 40th symphony without the dots), the Composers and Arrangers Group, the Recording Project (making live-sounding versions of music which would otherwise be computer generated) and Instrument Clinics for all sections of the orchestra (except percussion).

None of these activities are exclusive to those who have already signed up, so, if any of them appeal, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with whoever is in charge.

2021 will continue with all the activities mentioned above which will give us the chance to work with Alice Jones and Peter Fisher playing the Brahms double concerto, Sasha Raikhlina playing the Dvorak Romance and Helen Farrar playing a Rachmaninov Piano Concerto.

In January, we are trying out a new type of event with Amy Yule, Principal Flute with the Halle orchestra, who will be leading a sort-of orchestral masterclass on Dvorak’s 7th symphony, giving advice on orchestral playing to all instruments, not just the flutes.

In the New Year, we hope to be able, very cautiously, to offer some live playing opportunities again, but we will continue the online activity too, especially as many of you, when answering our recent survey, indicated that you’d like to take part in these activities even after live events resume.

We won’t be in a hurry to put on any concerts, though. Instead, we’ll take a stop-by-step approach to getting people used to playing together again, hoping that we’ll eventually be able to resume our full programme of study days, performances and residentials whilst also maintaining parts of our online programme.

Whatever you are doing over the next couple of weeks, I hope you have a peaceful and joyful time.

Andy Jackson

All is left for me to say is to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
I’m signing off now for 2 weeks, so please bear with me as I likely won’t reply to you until the 4th January. If there’s something you need urgently, please do ring me.

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Lorna Wright
Event Coordinator, Cobweb Orchestra

Posted by Tracy Reed