And then came COVID……
At the beginning of February 2020 QUO was in a very strong position. We had just had a very successful series of Christmas concerts, including the Yulekulele event in the Village Hall. This was our most ambitious show yet. Along with friends, we entertained and provided refreshments for 200 villagers. We also made significant donations to our three partner charities.
February saw us settling into our new rehearsal venue in the Old School Hall, despite a night of disruption caused by a faulty and unremitting alarm. We had a substantial number of bookings for the coming year. In addition to this, thanks to the generosity of many local businesses, Charnwood Borough Council and Quorn Parish Council, we had acquired a large gazebo and a high-quality sound system to enable us to offer more and better concerts outdoors. New members continued to join us, second QUO Songbook had been produced and we’d all acquired matching QUO sweatshirts and fleeces.
And then came COVID19…..
Our priority as COVID developed was the safety of our members. This has remained the case throughout. We stopped meeting at the Old School for six weeks in the first instance but it soon became apparent that this was going to take longer and we could see that this could mean an existential crisis for the band. Our second priority was the survival of QUO. We were determined that COVID would not bring about the end, so we took steps to ensure that it wouldn’t. Since March we have been meeting to play and rehearse on ZOOM every Thursday evening and some members have been meeting on Zoom to chat on Monday afternoons.
In addition, Norman has done a weekly music quiz for members (now in its 37th week). Thanks to these virtual meetings and the shared participation in the quiz, QUO has not only survived but it has thrived. We have new members. We have expanded our musical repertoire to include more music from Songbook 2. An increasing number of members are performing solos and duets. As well as this, the bonds of friendship and mutual concern that were always part of what QUO was have themselves become stronger and firmer.
As I write (early December), COVID still rages, the Tiers of Rage remain but the vaccine has arrived. People are starting to contact us and ask for bookings for 2021. Several of us have bought another ukulele and mastered new chords. There’s need to be cautious but cause to be optimistic. Roll on 2021.