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August 9th, 2020
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Co-vid 19 puts a halt to annual concert and rehearsals
by philip (15th June 20)
The Co-Vid 19 (Corona Virus) Pandemic has also meant that the orchestra's usual activities have been curtailed for 2020. We did manage to get in two events in the first few months of the year - a bushfire appeal concert in Chapel on Maude and a workshop with the Affinity Quartet - see photos under "General" for further news about these events - but it turned out that we were extremely fortuitous to get these events in - especially the workshop, since that was one of the very few Arts Festival events that went ahead before everything else was cancelled. Our annual concert (due to occur on June 21st in Eastbank) has been cancelled, and although another concert is pencilled in for October, this is also in severe doubt, as rehearsals are also problematic, needing, as we do, at this stage of the year (June 1st 2020) to only have 20 people in a room at one time and also to be two metres apart from others. Some string rehearsals may be possible but to get a full orchestra concert up by October seems, at this point, impossible. Rest assured, we are trying, but at this stage it appears the rest of 2020 may be a write-off for orchestra, as well as for the other community groups that rehearse in Chapel on Maude, 36 Degrees South Choir, and the Shepparton Brass and Wind Band. I will update here as soon as I know some more. There is a meeting of the Chapel on Maude committee (which has reps from all three groups on it) on June 12th 2020 to discuss whether (and if so how) Chapel on Maude can be open for rehearsals, given all the social distancing and especially, deep cleaning, needed after every rehearsal and activity in the venue.

Update: After our meeting on June 12th we decided to allow groups in to Chapel on Maude on a limited basis (ie with the recommended restrictions). From the end of July it will be allowable for people to be in Chapel on Maude allowing for four square metres per person. After some calculations this meant that a maximum of 47 people could fit into the space - so that included performers and audience. Each group was left to themselves to decide how and what they could manage and the orchestra is aiming at chamber type groups from as soon as possible, with the aim of doing some small concerts in Chapel on Maude itself and repeating the same concert to allow for more people to see it, with appropriate sanitising of pews, music stands etc between each concert. No firm date set as yet but some small groups may be able to rehearse from now onwards.

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