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 The Pandemic Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-04-29 19:43

It occurs to me that it'd be good for those of us who'd like to, to have a spot where they can check in and acknowledge just how tough the past year or so has been.

Where do you live (broadly speaking)? What is the state of things where you live? Are you doing okay, all things considered? Have you been vaccinated?

I live in the province of Ontario, in Canada, and we're back on stay at home orders. It feels pretty grim here, and it's unclear when things might improve. My husband's dad passed away from a stroke in Alberta in late February -- only one "designated visitor" could be with him during his three-week hospitalization. His five children have been unable to gather for a memorial service.

Other than that, we're hanging in there as best as we can. My husband is doing all his university teaching online, and I'm trying to bolster my spirits with online clarinet lessons (I've finally found a compatible teacher -- huzzah!) and online adult ballet classes.

My husband and I have both gotten the first dose of Astra Zeneca; our second dose is scheduled for late July.

Looking forward to hearing your stories, if you wish to share them.

Beth

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2021-04-29 21:40

We are in the Halifax, Nova Scotia area. NS has probably been the most Covid free place in N.A., including the territories. Now we are at about 500 total cases, a record (not 500 new daily cases, 500 total active cases). For a stretch last Fall we had 0 cases and the average other than the last 2 weeks and the initial wave has been maybe 10 active. Nova Scotians have been very good with following the guide lines. No anti mask protests, etc. Other than a couple of Dr., dentist apts. cancelled and my wife's Bingo and poker for a while being cancelled, we have breezed through it. Of course, being retired is a big help, I know. The only major set back for myself has been the closed U.S. border, so I couldn't play my usual summer series in NYC area with the Westchester Band, where I play principal and often get to solo. Concerts were cancelled anyway last summer, but I think they'll go on with distancing this summer, which is more frustrating for me. Looks like this summer is again a bust. Can't get my trailer over a closed border, plus only have one shot of Pfizer until the 2nd in Aug. The band is the only place I play nowadays, so it's just practicing daily and have to be satisfied with that. Hasn't affected my scuba diving though. We have been very lucky.

Since we have "behaved" so good with the rules, some of our and other Maritime Provinces' vaccines were sent to the territories and other parts of Canada. The second time, the Premier said no.

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Post Edited (2021-04-29 21:47)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Hank Lehrer 
Date:   2021-04-29 21:44

Hi Beth,

Perrysburg, OH here!

Great idea to share our experiences particularly about musical challenges that we have endured over the past year. But first, congratulations on starting your vaccines. This plus masking and social distances are paramount in overcoming this pandemic. Both Lynne and I are in the most senior bracket so we got our start in late January and finished by early March. However, we are not taking any real risks which would be silly.

Before I talk about music I wish to congratulate your husband on his on-line teaching. I'm a retired university professor and have been doing distance education (that's what it was called then) work with my students since about 1996. The key here though is that having a time and place independent segment is easier with university students particularly those in graduate school. I'm glad that my 19 years of elementary and secondary teaching are over as that age of student can be a real challenge in so many ways.

Musically, I did a lot of pit work and played with two really fine wind ensembles. During the first several months of the pandemic, to keep my chops I practiced all my doubles about every day. Also, I began to realize that large group performances might be slow in coming back. With that thought in mind, I shared it with several of my woodwind pals. The result was that I am now a member of two brand-new clarinet quartets the Lake Erie Winds and the Ann Arbor Clarinet Quartet. We have begun to practice together and are already planning for some local recitals for the summer and fall. Our venues will be local senior housing facilities, libraries, and a church or two. One of our members owns a winery and another is a minister so we have some performance opportunities.

So far, we have amassed a pretty respectable repertoire composed of many free charts, a few small purchases, and some re-arrangements of free brass and string quartet charts. Loading them into Finale and then editing as needed has worked well (it has been a fun experience to learn more about my 2012 Finale software).

This has actually been a lot of fun! But I believe that there will be some very real opportunities for small ensemble performance in the near term.

Cheers,

HRL



Post Edited (2021-04-30 03:51)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2021-04-29 22:08

I live in Vermont, USA, and am fully vaccinated with Moderna's vaccine. Vermont has been among the states with the lowest Covid numbers, and residents have been pretty careful. There's still no public music going on, but local community bands are trying to start up for a summer season by playing outdoors and exercising other precautions.

It's been a lonely time. A sister and a nephew died, both of non-Covid illnesses, and loved ones couldn't be there for them, or gather to memorialize them as yet. Clarinet practice has been my major rock, 2 or three hours almost every day. I spend a lot of time on scales and related patterns, focusing on any rough or weak spots, patiently teasing out what to correct. My finger and tongue technique, and some aspects of sound, are at my best level ever. However, I've retired from group or public playing due to depression issues. Practicing, improving, interpreting and imagining, listening and reading - that is enough. More than that is too much.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2021-04-29 22:45

Wyoming, USA here.

COVID ended the two jams I took part in. One was a mostly string instrument pop/folk/Americana group hosted in a public location, and one (an early jazz group) was hosted at my home. We were jamming somewhere every week.

The string group was mostly in the "at risk" age bracket, so things came to a grinding halt very quickly. A new (early jazz) jam was forming in northern Colorado with some great musicians - and was cancelled just prior to our planned first meeting. There is some talk of getting it going again now that the vaccines have run their course.

Everyone sixteen (18 - depending on the vaccine) or older who wants a vaccine has had them available here for over a month now.

Many smaller towns in my state have ignored the mandates and fared just fine - going through the entire pandemic as if nothing had happened. Now that the vaccines have been readily available for some time, almost all of the smaller towns are back to normal - though the larger cities are still struggling with spread and still self-masking (the mandates ended back in March).

Over the past two months, we've been as low as 300 active statewide cases (including folks who haven't tested positive, but who are showing symptoms, and were in close contact with confirmed cases), all the way up to 520 active cases (like Tom said...this isn't "per day" - this is total cases.)

At the beginning of the pandemic, lots of my friends were using various apps to post collaborative efforts of their music. At first, it was fun and unique - a way to still enjoy and interact via the music we love. However, after the first three months or so - the poor quality of recordings/mixing and such removed the thin veneer of novelty, and I now yearn for new opportunities to play in actual bands, interacting in the same room. I also look forward to purchasing new albums of musicians recording together at the same time and place. Further, I look forward to attending live performances again.

There's just no substitute for the real thing!

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-04-29 23:26

UK here.

Great idea Beth, it's really nice to know how everyone's music has changed in this last year. Mine has changed a lot.

For context, I'm a stay-at-home Mum + volunteer research scientist, adult clarinet learner, aged 45.

The first thing is that I got long covid last March, which stopped me playing my clarinet for 8 months, because of burny lungs that went on for such a long time. However, I was home-schooling my son for much of the time, so while he did his sums, I worked on music theory. I passed my grade 5 exam with distinction in August in the ABRSM online pilot. Crikey, I was tired after that, but so pleased. That was really a life-long dream for me. My son can write harmony now, so that is good too.

The other huge thing for me was the transition from exams in person to exams by video. I'm having to learn to play alongside a recorded accompaniment, which means tack-sharp timing, and I find that very challenging. I am getting quite good at it though, and I think it is a very good discipline for me.

I also had to get to grips with video and sound recording technology, which took a long time, and a lot of kind help from this forum, but I have got that really sorted now. I show videos to my teacher, on my zoom lessons, and that is great.

I also have been reassesssing my appearance from watching the videos and changing my hair, and clothes, and posture, and that has been really good. I feel much more relaxed about myself, now I properly know what I look like.

What were the downsides? I miss playing along with my teacher in his house, because he plays he piano like an ANGEL and is always nice. I forget how nice he is, until I offer to play for my extended family and they say "No thank you, no, really, NO". (oops)

I miss going to actual concerts at the concert hall, very very much.

I miss talking to actual people in the street, and standing close to people for a confidential chat. I don't really know when that is coming back and I find that weird.

We lost one grandparent, and had one in intensive care for a long time, and we are all bone-tired from the worry.

This morning I had my first covid vaccine, and so that is another milestone.

Thank you for asking. :-)



Post Edited (2021-04-29 23:28)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: McDonalds Eater 
Date:   2021-04-30 02:51

I live in Georgia but study in Indiana, USA.

Things in GA were pretty mixed in my opinion. Things were getting bad in Atlanta. But I live in a suburb and people here really take care of each other and take big precautions so I felt pretty safe at home. I did get a bit on edge health-related wise every time I had to go to the big city.

From what my friends told me at college, things were pretty good over there. The university took good measures to keep the students, professors, and staff safe there. I saw them give performances outside and even indoor recitals with limited and distanced audience. We're going back to in-person for next fall so that's exciting. I've been seeing various universities around the country implement a "you have to be vaccinated before coming to campus" so I guess time will tell whether they do that or not.

As for myself, I been home ever since March 2020 and haven't played with a group since February 2020. I definitely miss it, not having played with anyone for a year has been miserable. But, having extra time means improving myself. I have lost 30 lbs, and now I'm much more confident in my knowledge and playing the clarinet. So at least something positive came out of quarantine 2020.

Now that I got my 2nd dose I'm going to reach out to my HS teacher to catch up and play some duets together (she is also fully vaccinated). I'm also going to enjoy small-group outdoor events with my friends over the summer, so I guess "normal" life is starting to come back. I'm also going to finally play with some groups in the fall.

Definitely a year nobody asked for, but in my opinion we learned a lot.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-04-30 04:54

As a 73 year old with no outside commitments that weren't cancelled because of the Pandemic, my wife and I have been able to keep pretty isolated and we've managed to stay COVID-19-free. I don't think COVID was especially active in our area of Bucks County northeast of Philadelphia. There were cases reported on the County/State COVID info website, but I don't think it was ever as severe an outbreak as was being reported in Philadelphia itself or other parts of nearby counties. I didn't hear of reports of any of our nearby hospitals' being overwhelmed.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has continued to do online performances with players, mostly strings, who sit far apart on the stage and wear masks. All the other area music ensembles and theaters closed down last March. My wife, who is a violist, and I have been playing duets (adapting duets from other combinations has been an ongoing project) to provide us both with some amount of ensemble playing.

We've both been vaccinated, as have our two local children (a third lives in Phoenix) - one is an EMT and the other is a teacher. So we've been able to feel safe getting together and even having dinner inside restaurants again.

We're playing an outdoor concert this May - Memorial Day weekend - and one is being negotiated with the local venue for July 4. They will be the first times we'll have played in an ensemble larger than the two of us since everything shut down over a year ago. A few local theaters are offering reduced-capacity shows inside the theater. Slowly, things are looking hopeful, certainly less threatening. The Philadelphia Orchestra is planning to start a full season with full seating in September.

Karl

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2021-04-30 12:20

I'm afraid of what will happen to classical / jazz / western music. With schools not completely open band may decline even further. Limits on performances and audiences are not good. YouTube videos are fine, but they're not a real substitute for people actually playing together in a normal social way. Real music is live, not virtual.

I can't sell student clarinets online, and I see established techs are also having problems. Professional horns and saxophones do seem to have a market, although I see that some people are selling their personal horns too. We need young people starting, not just older people continuing. I wanted to be a tech, but I'm not sure that's reasonable now. This summer and next summer will tell - maybe schools will have a bunch of horns that need fixed because they got neglected for a year or two, and I'll get a job.

I am VERY not happy with the whole thing right now. I realize things are starting to open up more, but until the masks are gone and the officials are saying "live your life again, it's worth it", I don't see hope for anything remotely "normal". I do not believe that the total policies pursued were either reasonable or moral (or necessary) but I'll leave it at that.

I got a lot better at Recorder, but I have no one to play with. I can't even sing in church anymore.

It's like living in "Aliens", where they find Ripley in that miserable little white cubicle/apartment when she's got PTSD and no one believes her.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2021-04-30 12:29)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-04-30 17:42

I feel your pessimism, Matt. As for recorder playing, check out Team Recorder on YouTube. Sarah posted a video not long ago about various play-along websites.

A good friend of mine from my recorder quintet swears by Helen Hooker, who you can find online. I haven't tried her out, because I'm concentrating on clarinet right now.

My nephew in California played clarinet through high school in the concert band, but hasn't even touched the instrument since graduation a year ago. The sad thing is that he's attending a community college with excellent music and theatre departments but, because of the pandemic, hasn't been able to take advantage of these opportunities. It just sucks: kids, especially, need community to encourage their music.

Of course, adults need community, too. I know I'm not alone in struggling to continue to practice -- against the day that I'll be able to rehearse in groups again. It's been hard (off and on) to maintain momentum. Word was that my concert band might resume in September; with the way the pandemic's going here, that's looking increasingly unlikely.

I haven't practiced clarinet in a group setting since mid March 2020.

On another note, I hope you can hang in there with your tech dreams. Personally, I've been to my tech several times in the past year.

Beth

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: BethGraham 
Date:   2021-04-30 17:51

I am so sorry, Philip.

As for the depression, I am a fellow traveller who's is currently working through her second bout of the pandemic period. Although I'm pretty shy with others (I'm coming to understand that it's actually social anxiety), it turns out that I actually need to have community in a way that I hadn't fully realized.

I am so glad that you've gotten so much out of your studying.

Best to you --
Beth

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2021-04-30 18:08

Thank you!

- Matthew Simington


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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-04-30 18:25

Beth:

This thread was a really good idea.

In addition to all the reasons any of us have for Covid compromising our health: physical or mental, from the compromise to our quality of life, to those we've lost, let's just say that the pandemic has hit musicians harder (given the social aspect of their craft) than HAM radio operators: no disrespect to the latter, their hobby, by its very nature, minimally impacted.

And among musicians, let's just say that it's harder for us musicians who "spew contaminants" when we play (i.e. wind players versus string musicians) that are particularly impacted: no disrespect to any artists intended.

I miss the groups I played with: not only the musical aspects but the social ones and friends I don't see. I was depressed about it for a while but inspiring by a speech I heard about feeling better about yourself during this time by helping others.

One of my best friends and stand mates when we play, who knows everyone "music" within 50 miles of us, brought me into a small virtual symphonic band
that uses the JamKazam software product.

While truly grateful for any opportunity to play during Covid, and thankful for the technology that exists to help us get through it (i.e. can you imagine how much more difficult Covid might have been in the 1970s, not simply medicinally by technologically?) JamKazam was a shareware product in its relative infancy as recently as a year ago, with TONS of software glitches. It had been introduced before Covid with lukewarm reception, but became popular with the speed of wildfire after quarantine. Issues with musicians latency of sound, the software crashing, people dropping in and out: we shrugged our shoulders and were glad for what we had.

Not that long ago JamKazam transitioned into a pay model for all users, not jut professional ones: which turned out to be a good thing IMHO. For a minimal subscription fee the software makers agreed to take much of the proceeds to hire programmers to improve the product: which seems to be updated now almost weekly and IMHO is showing improvement.

Not long before this, I decided with this friend to develop my own JamKazam group: a clarinet quartet with some of my favorite people from the groups that have been temporarily cancelled.

I describe the group as "a therapy session that happens to use our shared love of music as its construct." Mental health experts suggest that routine and socialization are key in these times, and weekly we meet online, with cameras on, to discuss the week's events, thereafter turning the cameras off, and playing music we've found at free or shareware sites. I'm fortunate that this group is competent, appreciative and has wonderful people in it. We play medium difficultly pieces, "warts and all," in a judgement free zone that keeps our chops up for the times, we hope soon, that we can physically play together again. :)

JamKazam pretty much requires its participants to have a direct (not WiFi) connection to the internet. Keeping the groups small and physically close (e.g. within 50 miles of one another) seems to help with performance.

Soon, all players will be two weeks passed their second shot. We look forward to playing in person as a quartet or members of the symphonic groups we met at, as they resume.



Post Edited (2021-04-30 18:28)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2021-04-30 18:44

I've lost a number of friends and acquaintances around the world.

I'm in a high risk population (age, diabetes type 2, blood pressure) though the diabetes and blood pressure are well controlled (age is uncontrollable, dammit). I've had my first shot of AstraZeneca - the only real drawback is having to wait 8-12 weeks for the second shot.

Not much affect on my music playing since I wasn't in any groups and I wasn't playing nearly as often as I shoule be.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2021-04-30 19:20

Matt,

As I stated earlier, many of our smaller towns are nearly totally back to "normal" - small bands have been meeting indoors again, etc. Most Wyoming churches have maintained singing throughout the pandemic (minus the original "15 days to flatten the curve" phase), and believe it or not - most church "orchestras"/bands/whatever have continued playing throughout, as our state's mandate never prohibited such things. Mask mandates and distancing mandates were strictly followed by the churches, though. Not a single infection has been traced to any of the local churches throughout the pandemic. I mention this only as it is an interesting point to me - that music was allowed to continue normally, and (at least locally) there was absolutely no negative impact.

"It is March of 2021, and I feel sorry for those people living like it is still March of 2020" is a comment I hear echoed in the smaller communities.

As per your concern about a drop in music students, etc. I'll echo a belief I've stated elsewhere: The best way to get kids interested in band, is to let them see/hear a band playing live, up close. It is one of the reasons I like the idea of small groups busking in public, playing at non-age-restricted venues (cafes and such), and why I so enjoy the various outdoor community bands, etc. which pop up in various communities performing publicly in band shells and gazebos - free public performances. In my case, it was the high school marching band - which marched by my house every day performing practice drills - filling my four-year-old eyes and ears with wonder and excitement.

While I do fear the impacts COVID policy will have on band in the short term, I believe that as younger children are once again exposed to live music in public places, that we might see a reversal.

That isn't to say there aren't numerous other societal factors working against music programs in the US, but I think the COVID ones are something which might be overcome. My main fear is in wondering whether these same policies will now be utilized willy-nilly for any new sniffle or sneeze. THAT (in my opinion) would kill many of the arts and performance venues, etc.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

[Edit: corrected dates]



Post Edited (2021-04-30 19:47)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2021-04-30 19:48

Here in Victoria, Australia, the world went on hold for just over a year. For much of that time we were in some form of lock-down, with only limited local essential travel allowed. Masks were mandatory, no entertainment, hence no gigs. The three bands I play with all went into recess for over a year and are just starting up again.

We live in a small rural community in the hills around Melbourne and apart from essential shopping we isolated withing the house for most of the year. Things are now getting back to some form of normality. It's a good thing that Meg and I like each other, it would have been a miserable year otherwise.

We had our first covid shots today with the astra-zeneca vaccine. No problems so far. I've done a lot of practise but while my sight-reading has improved my dexterity has suffered.

Tony F.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-04-30 21:40

Matt74 - I'm really sorry to hear that it all has affected your situation so badly. I really feel for you.

I realised at the start that techs were likely to be badly affected and have been doing all I can to support our local shop. My friends and family are all getting unexpected birthday and Christmas presents from there, just to make sure we are sending the shop cash to keep it solvent until things go back to normal.

Is there any chance that you would tell us where you are so we could all send business your way, if we are close enough by?

I hardly know what to say to help, but I hope things pick up for you soon.

Jen x

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-01 20:20

After Matthew mentioned people selling professional horns on at the moment, I noticed today that there is a very high end professional A clarinet unused, 10 years old on ebay.

If this is a trend, does that mean that folks in the community who are playing on horns that are not good enough for their needs should be watching the market for good horns being sold on cheaply?

It may be that this is an opportunity for younger players coming through.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Matt74 
Date:   2021-05-02 01:43

I'm in Boca Raton, FL. My email is matthew.simington@gmail.com. I have a page at Reverb https://reverb.com/shop/boethius-clarinets. There are other much more experienced techs on the board, but I'd love to get some work. I can do clean-oil-adjust, padding, and standard overhauls on clarinets and flute. I can do clean-oil-adjust and padding on saxophones. Thank you!

Now would be a great time to buy a horn. I don't watch professional horns, but I there seems to be some fluidity in pricing for higher priced models. Some people have to sell right away, others don't care how long it takes, and it also depends on who is bidding at that time. There is still a market for professional horns now, but it seems to be a good time. Just looking at sold horns now, auctions are going for significantly less (dirt cheap) than buy it now, even with lots of bidders. You can get an older R13 for less than $1000. Intermediate Yamahas are going for a few hundred.

Student horn pricing is excellent right now. Pricing will probably go up as the summer goes on (depending on school status next year).

(For parents, etc, who may be reading: Be careful to take condition into account when pricing, not only Name/model.)

We have church, and all our services are sung, but our chanter is doing everything for the time being.

- Matthew Simington


Post Edited (2021-05-02 01:54)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: jim sclater 
Date:   2021-05-02 06:50

Sounds like many of us have had the same frustrations over this past year. Until the shutdown, I was playing 2-3 times a month in a dixieland group, a summer band, and the occasional orchestra gig for local churches. That all came to a full stop. The only playing I have done in the past twelve months is at my church - solos with organ and sometimes with piano. It was a very controlled situation; the service was streamed, no congregation present.

Next week our jazz quartet has a gig at a local venue; we'll play outside. Nothing else on the horizon. One thing that has helped me maintain something of a regular practice routine is the jazz play along videos on YouTube. There are many high quality rhythm tracks available to use if you are into that kind of thing.

Being in the high-risk group (age 77) I was fortunate to get my Moderna shots in January and February. I was scheduled for a surgery in March 2020; the lockdowns delayed it until late September 2020. In the past two weeks we have felt comfortable enough to venture out to eat in a restaurant.

I think we're nowhere close to the end of this nightmare. Hoping that the performing arts can rebound from such an immense setback. We owe so much to our arts educators who have gone the extra mile for their students to keep the interest up and the standards high.

Stay safe and be well.

Jim Sclater

jsclater@comcast.net

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-02 10:07

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for posting your details. I hope you get a ton of work from that.

Another thing I have noticed - although serious, experienced, musicians have had their playing curtailed during the lockdown, I think there are a lot of shy adult starters lurking at home playing music by themselves. My husband, for example, has bought a euphonium during lockdown, and is working hard alone, learning how to operate it. I bet there are a load of shy clarinet players quietly struggling alone out there who are going to need your help.

Thinking about my own experience as an adult starter, I think many of these people probably have no idea that their problems are down to the instrument rather than their own inexperience, or that a clarinet tech is even a thing that exists. When I started playing, self-taught, I had no idea that clarinet reeds needed to be periodically replaced. I bet those people would be very glad to be introduced to you online.

I'm in the UK so can't send fixing work your way but I'm in the market for an A horn, if you see one suitable, and were willing to be in intermediary for me.

I have a new Bb Yamaha Custom CX, and would like to buy the matching A horn in as-new condition sometime, if one could be found at a good price. I'm in no rush at all. Any time in the next three years would be great.

Good luck there with getting business. Keep telling people that you are available for work, and I hope a load of it comes your way soon.

Jen x



Post Edited (2021-05-02 10:38)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: kehammel 
Date:   2021-05-02 18:42

I'm vaccinated now, and can get together with other geriatric players who are also vaccinated. Before that, I was reduced to playing by myself indoors during the long Wisconsin winter.

I did have fun, though, sitting on my front doorstep to play my Albert system clarinet last summer. Once, when I was playing some Klezmer tunes, a woman pushing a stroller on the other side of the street stopped and called out:

"I really like your oboe!"

Ken

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-02 21:06

That's hilarious! I'm glad she enjoyed your oboe. :-)

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-02 21:27

Hi Matt74,

Have you looked in on this thread? I think they might need your skills.

http://test.woodwind.org/clarinet/BBoard/read.html?f=1&i=490974&t=490931

Jen

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Morrigan 
Date:   2021-05-03 11:35

Being a military musician in the UK, I’ve spent almost 7 months deployed on Covid operations. 3 months in Birmingham doing testing, and I recently got home after almost 4 months in Wales working at a vaccination centre. I was called back with very little notice to play at the royal funeral.

Life feels weird for me at the moment. I’m actually struggling to realise that I have my life back; my mind thinks I’m going back to Wales but that’s over. We’re returning to musical duties in June, and I’ve never felt completely and utterly uninspired to play. I should be getting my clarinets out and getting my playing back after so long away, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Pre-pandemic my career was going fantastically, with some upcoming projects set to elevate my career even more. But the thought of going back to the sheer amount of work that takes scares me now. I think I have a new perspective: perhaps there’s more to life than my career.

_______________________________________________
Principal Clarinet, Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, London
Masters Graduate, Royal College of Music, London
https://soundcloud.com/tieraci

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2021-05-03 18:23

Hi Morrigan. I've wondered how many active musicians share the feelings you describe. When something so vital and encompassing as a music career abruptly goes away due to external circumstances nobody could control . . . maybe it raises questions about how important it really was, or how real. The pandemic shutdowns have diverted many people's lives into other directions. It has diverted entire industries into different paths. Then too, you can never get back to exactly where you left off in anything, only to a place somewhat different. The world has changed.

But not entirely, not inherently. People still need music: it's like a kind of air for the respiration of creativity. They need high-level music that's done well, for energy and inspiration and emotional release. Great music gives life meaning, and hope for meaning, even despite large vicissitudes like pandemics.

Performance has been sleeping, resting. It is coming back, and it will again be alive and energizing and meaningful to players and audiences alike. Music isn't the only meaningful pursuit, and some will move on, but some will certainly return, changed, but still themselves living musicians.

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-03 22:16

Hi Morrigan,

I'm really sorry to be silly, but I'm so excited to see your post. I watched the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on tv and when the marching band went past I was leaping up and down and shouting "Clarinet man!" and pointing at you, so my son could see too. It was properly exciting to see you play, and so beatifully dressed and everything. I thought it was the Actual Business, and it's entirely made my day to meet you on this thread.

I'm really sorry to hear that you are feeling flat like that. I can totally see how you would. I'm bone tired myself, and I kind of think everyone must be.

I think it's probably entirely reasonable to re-evaluate your life situation after having taken part in something so huge. I mean, life has changed hasn't it? And we've all acquired new skills and perspectives.

Thank you for the lovely music at the funeral. It was such a breath of fresh air after a year of no music at all. It felt like you were playing for every single person who had died in the whole of the last year and that meant a very great deal to us.

Jen x

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 Re: The Pandemic Thread
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-05-03 22:30

My son adds "Yay! Clarinet man!" :) He is also excited to meet you.

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