The lockdown and restrictions emplaced by the governing body of brass bands, Brass Band England, severely curtailed the activities of Littleport’s much-loved Littleport Brass.
Rehearsals fell foul first, having to be abolished altogether – then subsequently the musicians were able to gather in part, subject to the various regulations on social distancing and so on.
Music Director of Littleport Brass Ian Knapton explained to Littleport Life: “The band are keeping an eye on all of the latest government guidelines and we have all the precautions in place including temperature checks on all members as they enter the band room, all members wear face masks as they enter and leave the band room, there is track and trace registration. Each player is seated two metres apart from one another, each player has a see-through screen in front, at the side and behind them.
We only rehearse for 60 minutes with all the band room windows and doors open for ventilation, the MD wears a face mask and visor to conduct in, plus all instruments have bell covers, there is no sharing of music or music stands, each player also brings a towel so they empty their water into them. As a band we feel we put everything in place for a Covid secure rehearsal and all players have been told there is no pressure on any of them to be at rehearsal if they don’t feel safe.”
And, of course, all the scheduled contests, events and concerts have been cancelled for 2020. Nothing daunted Ian and the dedicated musicians who together make up Littleport Brass are determined to continue to entertain their always appreciative audience via social media.
There have been well-received recorded performances on cleverly put together presentations on social media that have gained the band a world-wide audience!
Christmas Concert Goes Ahead – On the net!
Usually the annual Christmas Concert by Littleport Brass is well-attended by Littleport standards. A crowded church testament to its popularity with the locals.
Last year was no exception. But this year it was change and change again!
It was planned to be a socially-distanced concert by the entire band and of necessity without an audience in Littleport Village Hall that was to be recorded live then broadcast on the last Sunday before Christmas.
Unfortunately government regulations then caused the Hall booking to have to be postponed until the New Year.
So Littleport Brass refusing to disappoint their fans have been putting together an eclectic mix of solos, trios and quartets are planned as well as a stirring selection of Christmas favourites by the entire ensemble cleverly collated by MD Ian aka Santa and his helpers.
The superb seasonal sounds of Littleport Brass broadcast on that last Sunday before Christmas, December 20th at 7 pm – and to listen to again at any time after the launch.
One Littleport resident has a special reason to be grateful for the musical expertise of the band’s MD Ian. When her great grandfather Herr Lion de Swarte died in 1919, his extensive library of his orchestrations and own compositions were lost… Just one piano solo published in 1904 came to light after a search on the internet and she approached Ian. When he heard the story, and listened to the piece, he said he would arrange it for Brass… Dedicated to Baron Howard de Walden a well-known patron of the arts, sport and horse racing, whose family are connected to Snailwell near Newmarket, it is called The Swordsmen’s March. Played for the first time in public at St George’s parish church in 2019 it will be played again in this year’s concert.
Littleport Brass has an impressive portfolio of music across all musical genres and in playing them all to a high standard in public increases the standing of Littleport to the world at large. And Littleport Life magazine is pleased to support this year’s Christmas Concert on the net and a concert in the Village Hall in the new Year.