At the time of writing we are currently coming to the end of the fourth week of lockdown here in the UK. Under more ‘normal’ circumstances, today would be marking the end of the Easter Holidays & school children all over the UK would be making plans to start Term 5 (or the Summer term as I remember it) in the coming week.
The weather is certainly appropriate for a Summer term. My personal school memories from this time of year were mostly of cricket and being able to wear a short sleeved shirt. That said I was never any good at cricket and, beyond my prep school years, I’m not sure I’ve ever so much as held a cricket bat. As well as the sound of cricket balls on willow, the summer term also saw a whole range of school music going on.
Of course music occurred all year round but I have fond memories of the concerts on Speech day at school. Not being any good at sport, and not being particularly academic either, music was the thing I could get involved in at school. At one point I managed to be in the school orchestra, the jazz band, a chamber orchestra, a barbershop group and the school choir. That was in addition to playing the organ for most of the chapel services.
Speech day, which tended to occur in early May was the one time when all these groups would come together to perform. Our audience was generally some slightly reluctant parents who had to choose between continuing to drink champagne on the lawn whilst watching cricket or going into a somewhat stuffy speech hall to listen to a bunch of teenagers scraping violins.
To be fair our school music was actually quite good. I remember one year being involved in a performance of Beethoven’s Second symphony. When I chose to do music A level I was told I should therefore be in the school orchestra. Not being able to play an orchestral instrument, I was told, was no excuse. So I was hastily given a flute and told to learn which end to blow into.
The high point of my flute career was nearly passing grade 6 and playing Beethoven’s second symphony in the school orchestra. However, I shouldn’t over promote this occasion. From what I recall a third flute part was found for this symphony which consisted of approximately 2 notes – whether they were even written by Beethoven or just given to me to humour me I have no idea. I do remember playing 2 notes during the course of the concert. Whether they were the right two notes or at the right time, I can be less certain.
All of which brings me back to our current state of lockdown in the UK. As I write this I am sat in my garden in some glorious sunshine. In many ways this is very lovely but does not detract from the fact that we are all in very uncertain times. Obviously for the foreseeable future we cannot go ahead with any of the many school recordings we had booked throughout the summer. Whether this will change during May or June remains to be seen.
Whilst we are ready to record the moment schools return and such work / travel is permissible, the fact remains that we cannot plan much beyond a day at a time. For the moment, we are leaving all our recordings in the diary (unless already cancelled). Even if it is not possible to record this summer, we hope that we will be back out and about recording towards the end of the year.
For the time being therefore, all we can do is hope everyone is staying safe and following government advice, however hard that might seem.
To find out more about our professional recording services for schools on location in the UK please call us on 01225 302143 or click here to send an email