All through Lockdown the group were able to play together via Skype. This was possible by players taking it in turn to play the lead with the rest playing along but with their devices muted. Most of the time this worked very well, just occasionally someone would forget to mute resulting in some strange noises. We are only a small group so since the beginning of Boris’s roadmap, have quite legally been able to play together, weather permitting, in the garden. Now we are free to give the neighbours a rest and meet indoors.
Amongst the distinctive benefits of the Hayling U3A is the fact that we have the only Woodwind Band involving several different instruments in the South Central Area of the U3A. Hayling U3A also has other playing groups for Hand Bells, Music for Fun, Ukes for U. Windsong, a group for recorders. Music appreciation has 2 groups.
The Woodwind Band has been developed so that instrumentalists can play with others. If you play a musical instrument but only play by yourself, you have little incentive to improve but playing in a group you are constantly given new and different musical challenges and have a real spur to work and practice.
The repertoire is very wide and ranges from rounds, through popular show songs and even to light classical works.
We welcome all players of woodwind instruments. At present, the group consists of 3 clarinets, 1 bassoon, 2 flutes, an alto sax and a keyboard player. We have all levels of ability and the music that we use is in parts so that all ranges of ability can take part and benefit from playing at their level.
We do not actively seek public performance but we have played for groups on Hayling that provide help for various handicapped people including the Blind Club and the Dementia group. We were supported here by volunteer singers and by electronic backing. We also brought together all the other music groups in Hayling U3A to spend an afternoon making music which went very well. We had a Christmas Party last year, including spouses, where we played and sang carols before enjoying the food and chat.
We continue playing for fun, enjoyment and hopefully to improve. If you would like to know more about our group with the possibility of playing with us or indeed composing or arranging music for us to play, please contact the organiser, Norman Tyler
This is an article published in the Summer 2019 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter