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It’s been such a long time since we were able to sit in a room with other musicians and practise some of our favourite pieces together. So much so, that it was beginning to feel like an alternate reality that we used to live in…but The People’s Orchestra are excited to announce the successful return of face-to-face rehearsals!

It was hard not to get emotional as, in mid-October, we welcomed back our wonderful musicians and choir singers on Sunday and Monday nights for the first time in seven months. We began to work on some of the pieces which will be used in our Christmas concerts.

Cat, one of our violinists in the Rusty Players’ orchestra, said: “It was great to be back – it’s been hard not being able to play in person. I am not an online person really and prefer to be enveloped by being part of an ensemble. I do enjoy the rehearsals very much and appreciate you all ensuring that they could go ahead safely.”

We completely understand and empathise with any concerns people have about coming to rehearsals in the current situation. We have put measures in place to respect social distancing and ensure that everyone is able to play music whilst remaining safe. These include ensuring at least a two-metre distance between members is always maintained, and a one-way system to ensure that no unnecessary close contact takes place. This will continue to apply when we can return once again in 2021.

Lakhvir, The People’s Orchestra Leader, felt the safety measures we implemented were effective. He said, “It was great to be back and I definitely got piece of mind with the COVID-secure arrangements.”

Despite having not played together in such a long time, it was as if we had never been apart, and we’re very excited for our upcoming Christmas concerts. Unfortunately, due to the new lockdown restrictions announced not long after our successful rehearsals, we have been unable to create our pieces together – although we have created a show similar to our Virtual Summer Concert (you can watch it below!). It will also feature a nostalgic look back at the fun and varied history of The People’s Orchestra. We’re streaming the final performances on Facebook Live the weekend before Christmas.

Due to the ever changing Covid-19 situation we are not currently able to set a date for new rehearsal sessions in the New Year. We are hoping to as soon as government guidance allows us to. In the meantime, we hope that we all stay safe, and that you have a wonderful Christmas!

We are also currently on the lookout for new people to join us, both musicians and singers. If you or anyone you know would be interested in getting involved, please contact us.

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