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Windsor Community Orchestra

Futire event: 2021 Autumn term

The Windsor Community Orchestra has published the dates for its Autumn term, starting on the 23rd September. Full details are on the Calendar page.

We are hoping that with the lifting of COVID-related restrictions, this term will be held with normal rehearsals and end with a traditional Christmas concert. However, we also want to ensure a safe environment, so some COVID-19 precautions may still be necessary. These will be announced on the Calendar page.

Windsor Band Stand Performance

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The orchestra on the Windsor Bandstand

The Windsor Community Orchestra played its first live performance for over 18 months in the Windsor Band Stand in Alexandra Gardens on Saturday 31st July. The orchestra performed an hour-long set twice - at 12:30 pm and again at 2:30 pm. The weather forecast was for rain, but the clouds held off until the last few numbers on the second set. Those that braved the weather heard some great music, both modern and classical.

2021 Summer concert

The Windsor Community Orchestra held its Summer concert on the 8th July. This was a virtual concert, where family, and friends of the orchestra joined us to hear performances by the orchestra put together as multi-tracked recordings. It also included solo pieces from some individual members, where clarinets, french horns and saxophones all had their moment to shine.

The orchestra continued its tradition of using its concerts to raise money for charity, and over £460 has been raised so far in this concert. The orchestra likes to support charities with which it or its members have a link. Some of our members have a link to Hungary, so this term we are supporting the Oltalom Charity.

2021 Spring concert

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The orchestra and audience zooming in

The Windsor Community Orchestra held its 2021 Spring Concert via Zoom. With 56 Zoom screens, the Spring concert was very well attended. Other than one solo piece, performances were made by individual recordings brought together by the magic of modern computers. This included mostly modern jazzy pieces, designed to lift our spirits in this locked-down world.

As always, the concert was an opportunity to raise money for charity. £525 was raised and will be given to 2 charities with which orchestra members have a link.

The first was Alzheimers Dementia Support, and in particular their Singing for Pleasure. Terrie Hall, one of its leaders, attended the concert and gave an introduction to the charity. Our link is through alto sax player, Edwina, who goes along to the Singing for Pleasure with her dog, Buster. Edwina and her dog are trained to find missing people, which is sometimes required for people with dementia.

The second charity is Assisting Berkshire Children to Read. This supports volunteers trained to assist children at school to catch up with their reading and to help parents to assist their children as well. The link to the orchestra is through alto sax and clarinet players, Rob and Jinny, who have volunteered to be trained to go into local primary schools but had to postpone due to lockdown last March.

Carolathon in support of Christian Aid

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The orchestra contributed to the Windsor Christian Aid Carolathon on the 20th December. The Carolathon was a 6 hour event where different churches and organisations took slots to perform carols and other Christmas music. Money was raised by asking for donations before or during the event. The orchestra had a 15 minute slot, which included a mixture of orchestra recordings, solo recordings and a live performance. This showcased the variety of ensemble and solo performance that a typical concert would include. It finished with the video of We wish you a merry Christmas that was shown in the 2020 Christmas concert. You can see the video on the Gallery page. A second slot was filled by one of the families in the orchestra, where Anikó, Máté and Dombé provided a video of them performing flute and violin arrangements of Christmas music.

The event raised over £2000 for the Christian Aid Christmas appeal.

2020 Christmas concert raised festive cheer

The 2020 Christmas concert happened on the 3rd December 2020. We couldn't meet in person but we had 36 people or groups dialled into our Zoom concert. We went through a number of solos and orchestra pieces, some recorded, mixed and a few augmented by computer, but other were played live over the Zoom link. We finished a mix of We wish you a merry Christmas, which Elaine had created from individual recordings of the parts made by orchestra members. A video of past pictures set to this is available on our Gallery page.

As always, we use our concerts to raise money for charity. This concert raised £660. This went towards 2 charities that members of the orchestra have connections with. The first is the Autistic Adult Choir. The second is the Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead branch of the Samaritans.

If you'd like to join our future concerts, or join the orchestra, contact us via e-mail or the Contact page. Future events are announced on our Calendar page.

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Windsor Community Orchestra is a non-profit, private organisation. It endeavours to provide a safe and secure experience for all who participate. It operates to a data protection and safeguarding policy designed to support this. Details can be provided on request. Please use our contact form if you require more details.

© 2021 Elaine Foakes