It was way back on Sunday 8th March that the members of Peebles Burgh Silver Band last performed together as a Band (and in uniform) – we were on stage at the Perth Civic Hall at the Scottish Brass Band Championships where we were placed third out of 14 Bands in our section – a great day was had by all!
Since then, we have like all musicians and choirs throughout the UK been unable to rehearse as a group or to give lessons to the members of our Youth Band. Hopefully it can’t be too long before we can at least play out in the open albeit at distance and perhaps get back to some semblance of normality.
Whilst some of us have been playing on the streets in small ad hoc groups in support of our NHS staff and carers or ensuring that Beltane Saturday was not devoid of the Festal Song or the Coronation Ode, we have been unable to play formally at our normal engagements throughout the year – namely Penicuik Gala Day Parade, Biggar Gala Day Crowning & Parade, our week-long Peebles Beltane Festival and the Flower Parade at the St Ronan’s Games. We have also been unable to hold our normal Coffee Mornings and our Spring Concert had to be cancelled too.
We have also had to cancel our Autumn Concert scheduled for September but the biggest disappointment of all has been the cancellation of the Band’s weekend trip to Germany in September. We were to perform two marching engagements and four 40-minute sets on stage in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd – our photograph shows the Band’s reception on stage in 2014 when we first played at the Europaisches Blasmusikfestival and Internationales Musikfest in Bad Schlema. What an experience!
We certainly were looking forward to playing again with our friends from Tweedvale Pipe Band – the reaction from the audience when we marched into the marquee in 2014 playing Come Ower the Hills to Peebles made us all especially proud. The crowd reaction went up yet another notch or two when we played the likes of Amazing Grace and Highland Cathedral. Alas it is not to be this year – but the good news is we are invited along to next year’s Festival.
In the meantime, and until our normal rehearsals resume, we will try and play out in the open over the remainder of the summer and hope to see you all then – at distance, of course.