Band don’t let pandemic stop them making music

Brixham Town Band performing on the Quayside before the pandemic

Brixham Town Band performing on the Quayside before the pandemic - Credit: Archant

Musicians in Brixham Town Band haven’t let a pandemic stop them making music.

The popular brass band, which would normally be busy in the run up to Christmas, are now digitally recording a Christmas carols CD.

The tunes will be played on the Rotary Club of Brixham’s annual sleigh ride through the town and any other occasions some traditional Christmas carols are needed.

The band normally play at more than 20 Christmas concerts, turkey and tinsel events and charity singalongs at this time of year, especially playing for the shoppers on Christmas Eve in Fore Street, Brixham.

They are awaiting confirmation, with all fingers crossed, that they will be able to do this on a rota of six players.

If not, it will be a video screen of them playing along to the virtual CD.

Since 1928, the brass band in Brixham has been playing two evenings a week down on the quay through the summer, providing free concerts for local people and holidaymakers.

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Previously this was only interrupted for a couple of years during the Second World War.

However, this year all concerts have had to be put on hold.

Musician Kim Paynter said: “This has left a huge gap in our lives and that of many holidaymakers, some of whom come back year after year to listen to us.

“Luckily, we have a chairman who is a whizz at technology, so right from the beginning of lockdown, the band started to have twice-weekly sessions on Zoom and to make virtual recordings.

“As you will be aware,  it is just not possible for choirs or bands to sing or play over online platforms like Zoom because there is a second or two lag between players.

“Therefore, what we have been doing is choosing one piece of music at a time to practise and then recording our parts individually at home on our smartphone.

“We then email this to our chairman and he pieces it together using specialist software.

“It’s not perfect but it is keeping us motivated and interacting until we can meet together to play.”