Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Masked magic


Our community band has been rehearsing since September for last night’s Christmas concert. It hasn’t been easy. As librarian I sit on the board and we met numerous times, over the long months when we couldn’t play together, to access the situation.

Getting ready.

When we finally could meet again it was under the strict rules of the school system whose buildings we use. Everyone needed to be masked, even when playing our instruments. The instruments themselves had to have bell covers. And our audience had to remain masked at all times too.

Last minute instructions.

This fall we polled our members, asking whether they felt comfortable playing together under these guidelines. About 50% of the band agreed to play. I agreed too, but with trepidation. I am still uneasy being around other people in a closed space. Even if we are all masked up.

A special guest arrives.

But we all tried to be careful, and it was so good to make music again. Even if we sounded a bit ragged, given all the parts weren’t covered. Even though we only had one poor lonely percussionist, and holiday music is full of percussion!

Some rehearsals made me wonder if we’d get our stuff together in time.

We were lucky to have some high school players come in at the last moment to help us. Lots of percussionists, three clarinetists, and several others helped fill in the holes and our sound filled out.

Sleigh Ride isn’t right unless Santa conducts.

And, as is usual in community bands, when everyone shows up for the concert we show up focused, and we played so much better last night than at any one of our rehearsals.

You wouldn’t have been able to tell, because we were wearing masks, but I think every one of us was grinning by the end.

Making music is magic. We are so lucky that we were able to do that last night.

Thanks to our guest conductor, Paul!

The audience gave us a standing ovation. I don’t know if they were just anxious to leave, or glad to hear live music again after such a long break.

I think I’ll just assume they were grinning behind their masks too.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

26 thoughts on “Masked magic

  1. Hearing that music live must have been wonderful. I am giving you a standing ovation!!


  2. Music live touches your soul! Bravo!! ❤️This makes me smile and I’m so happy you all made this happen!! 👏👏👏


  3. It makes me happy to know that your Christmas Concert was a go after so much was up in the air! I know the band and audience all had beaming smiles under their masks! Bravo – well done!! 💕 👏👏👏👏


  4. How wonderful! Music makes it all worthwhile!
    Glad you all did it!


  5. Well done, all of you! Life during the time of COVID isn’t easy, but you still managed to make music. I sure was smiling when I reached the end of your post.


  6. Good for you. I understand we have avoided gatherings for the most part. Still scary out there.


  7. Woo Hoo, Dawn!! Congrats on another excellent concert! Ours was on Monday night and, like y’all, we had the masks and distance things going on — but it was sooo worthwhile seeing the happiness on our audience’s faces (at least in their eyes!) It’s definitely cause for concern, bringing in so many people who didn’t isolate together during the height of this virus, but I’m glad you decided to go for it. After all, Christmas is a time when we need the sights and sounds of joy, particularly as our days grow shorter and darker. Kudos!


    • We don’t generally have large audiences, and Tuesday night was no exception. So there was lots of room in the auditorium for them to space out. We on stage were spaced out more than usual too. I couldn’t hear most of the rest of the band. But it was still fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How lovely you received a standing ovation! It sounds like you were very careful–everyone was careful all the way around. We just flew to Georgia on a crowded plane, it felt a little more dicey, but thank goodness everyone was masked.


    • I saw that you had been down there. I’d like to go to AL, but have a couple issues. One, flying in a plane with a bunch of people is scary. Two, Katie does better these days if I’m around. So I’ll be in Michigan for the foreseeable future.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been debating whether to go to a local concert, but now I’m going! 🙂 Music means so much to the listeners and to the musicians.


  10. There is nothing like a band concert, Dawn. Glad you could get this done! We went to the local high school’s concert and most kids wore their masks, but it was amazing to see the woodwinds being played under their face shields. Nothing will stop us from making music!


  11. Well done, Dawn. Stay safe and well.


  12. A standing ovation – that was worth a concert! Most of the masks don’t help anyway:) What instrument do you play?


  13. I’m glad it went down so well. Making music is very therapeutic. Mother sings in several choirs and missed it so much. It took several weeks for them to get their voices back and they had to sing spaced widely out which was strange. Now things are looking tricky over here, we’re wondering if it is going to have to go on hold again.

    Liked by 1 person

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