Aberdeenshire concert bands on song despite Coronavirus pandemic

The Aberdeenshire Instrumental Music Service has not let the global Coronavirus pandemic deter them from performing.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 6:00 am
Due to the pandemic, the concerts went virtual.

The service switched to working online at the start of the first lockdown in Scotland in March, 2020. Instructors quickly learnt new skills in coordinating virtual concert bands in schools as well as overseeing rehearsals and a range of ensemble performances.

Their hard work paid off as four Aberdeenshire school concert bands received awards following participation at the first ever Virtual Scottish Concert Band Festival in December last year.

Usually, the festival would comprise bands from across Scotland to perform live, but as concert bands have not been able to rehearse or perform together since March 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Concert Band Festival took the decision to hold the event virtually.

The service switched to working online at the start of the first lockdown

Vincent Docherty, Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Education, said: “I have been thoroughly impressed with the instructors and pupils’ ingenuity and ability to adjust to the challenging and changing circumstances we have all lived through over the last year.

"It is a testament to their dedication that the concert bands have performed so well at the Scottish Concert Band Festival as well as delighting all in attendance at the Christmas Concerts.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Instrumental Music Manager Justin Brook said: “The speed in which instructors learned how to put these video performances together was nothing short of miraculous.

"A remarkable achievement.”

Portlethen and Mearns Academy Concert Band, an amalgamation of pupils from the two academies, was formed in September 2020 by conductor Sarah Gove.

The band received a gold award in the festival. Mackie Academy Concert Band also received a gold award and South Aberdeenshire Music Centre Junior Concert Band received silver.

The South Central Aberdeenshire Youth Concert Band conducted by Bruce Wallace was awarded gold plus.

Visit the Aberdeenshire Council’s Music Centres YouTube channel for a variety of virtual performances