FAIRFIELD – The Solano Winds Community Concert Band is back stronger, conductor Bill Doherty said in an email.
The group canceled their last two performances of the 2019-2020 season because of the Covid-19, which also put the kibosh on the 2020-2021 season.
Rehearsals resumed in August with eight small ensembles.
“Rather than trying to bring our 60 musicians together under one roof when community transmission was still quite high, we were able to work in smaller numbers – there are between two and 10 members in each small ensemble – to ensure the safety of our musicians and our communities, ”Doherty wrote. “In September we moved all the reps outside in response to the delta variant. “
A recent performance at Paradise Valley Estates used three outdoor venues for the eight small sets. The musicians moved from place to place while the residents remained in place in the place of their choice. (You can find these performances by searching on YouTube for “Small Bits Solano Winds”.)
Indoor play resumed last week but only with the use of musical PPE (bell covers and ear tips).
“The small ensembles are now preparing for a series of holiday performances in December. We are optimistic that with the current trends for improvement with Covid in the community, we can start rehearsing with the full orchestra in January 2022, with our return to the Downtown Theater scheduled for March 4, 2022 ”, wrote Doherty.
Doherty had planned to retire from teaching at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Her district was preparing last fall to require teachers to teach in person again, which is generally a very good thing.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the community told him it was rather time to retire between semesters.
“And the school had plenty of time to hire a very qualified replacement, so I felt better about leaving my students in the middle of the year. Ten months later, I love retirement and have no regrets, ”he wrote.
In addition to health precautions, small ensembles also offer small ensembles the opportunity to develop musical skills that are beneficial to their performance in larger ensembles, Doherty wrote.
“They have to work much more independently, listening to the intonation and cohesion of the musical style. Their sound is much more exposed. I am delighted to hear the dividends when the full group returns. We’re also much more flexible as an organization with wind bands and eight small ensembles available to perform in the community.
The “Season 25 Gala” has been rescheduled to May 14 at the Rancho Solano Clubhouse. It was originally scheduled for May 2020.
“Now more than ever, we feel fortunate to have survived and thrived in the local performing arts community since 1995,” Doherty wrote. “The gala is an opportunity to celebrate this good fortune with the entire Solano Winds family. It will feature performances from our small ensembles and full orchestra, as well as a sumptuous dinner and great company. “
Tickets are available at solanowinds.org. The proceeds benefit the endowment fund, which provides annual support to operations.
The current small ensembles are the Brass Trio, Brass Quintet, Clarinet Ensemble, Flute and Clarinet Duo, Flute Choir, Party Group (Dixie / Holiday / Polka), saxophones and the wind quintet.
A big band (Jazz Ensemble) was launched two weeks before the end of the pandemic.
“We hope to restart this group when the Concert Band returns. And we occasionally assemble a large brass ensemble for the holidays. That puts a total of 11 stage sets under our umbrella, ”Doherty wrote.
For more information, visit the Solano Winds website.