Welcome ERSO members – We’re live again!

Government guidance on non-professionals has been updated recently and the DCMS guidance of 13 August says non-professional music groups can now meet and rehearse, providing that we take a number of key steps to ensure everyone’s safety.  Both professionals and non-professionals can now engage in singing and playing wind and brass instruments in line with the performing arts guidance.

Minimising risk

The draft processes that we plan to put in place to keep everyone safe can be viewed at : Risk management at ERSO.  The safety procedures are based on the government guidelines, advice from Making Music (the organisation which advises leisure-time music groups) and the school’s risk assessment.

We’ll be working to refine and improve these further prior to the first rehearsal and of course will refine the processes in light of how things go once rehearsals start.  If you have any questions about these processes please email your fixer or email us on ersoinfo@gmail.com.

These processes are being put in place to for the protection of all of our members and their families and should help to minimise risks – it is essential that all players read and follow these procedures.

We must emphasise that all players must bring a stand to rehearsals as sharing will not be possible and we will not have access to the school stands.

You can see the full government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts

Of course, we all know that things won’t be exactly the same as our usual rehearsals, as we will need to ensure that we socially distance at all times and will need to limit social interactions when we are not playing.  But we think  – and we hope that many of you will agree – that it will be worth taking these steps to be able to get back to playing together again safely.

We do completely understand that not everyone will feel comfortable returning to orchestra until the Covid-19 situation is further improved – if this is the case for you, please be reassured that we will keep your space open and will be delighted to have you back when the time is right for you.

The first 2 concerts of the season are of a far smaller scale in order to allow better social distancing in rehearsal.     This means, sadly, that we are not including lower brass before Christmas and that we have limited places available for strings and we will need to prioritise players who can attend all rehearsals when fixing.  We may also need to run a waiting list for some of the string sections.

Changing to Saturday afternoon rehearsals for the meantime

For the meantime, the school are not able to accommodate any bookings from groups on Sundays and so we have been offered Saturday afternoon rehearsals instead.   We hope that as many of the orchestra as possible will be able to join us on Saturdays, although we do understand that you may have other commitments.

Our first rehearsal will therefore be 2 – 5pm on Saturday 26th September.

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