Return to In Person Rehearsals

What a delight it was return to Bent St for an in person rehearsal last night!  

After the hard graft of making do with zoom rehearsals (better than nothing, but hardly a satisfying musical experience!) to be able to hear and play with everyone was wonderful.  We look forward to rehearsing again together in a fortnight’s time, to be followed by a Christmas break-up meal at a local venue.

Our 2021 AGM will be held in the break of our online Zoom rehearsal on 21 October.

Presented will be last year’s AGM minutes, the Treasurer’s, President’s and Musical Director’s reports. These will also be available online, with the link to be sent in our regular Squawkestra Update email.

Please consider nominations (for yourself or others) for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and a minimum of four committee members as all positions will be declared vacant. If you have always wanted to contribute your energy and ideas to Squawkestra we’d love to have you involved.

If there is any other business you would like to raised, please let one of the committee know or email info@squawkestra.com.au so it can be added to the agenda.

Chrysalis Soirée

The final night of Season Two was by necessity a quieter, online affair with our online “Chrysalis Soirée”.  Tucked up in our lockdown cocoons, individuals played solos as diverse as welsh songs, jazz and show tunes, and classical themes.  We were all lead in our first “jamming” session and enjoyed the novelty of duets when talented partners were roped in for a performance.

Here’s hoping that our third season will bring with it in-person rehearsals, and the possibility of an end-of-year concert with (dare we dream?) a real audience!

New Conductor and New Season

It was great to rehearse in-person again, the first time under the baton of our new Conductor and Musical Director, Carl Polke.

We could hear for the “whole orchestra” sound of the pieces we started in lockdown zoom rehearsals, which we will be working for our Season Two – Chrysalis Emergent!

Squawkestra’s “Re-unite” Season concludes with a “Re-union” Concert where we will say “Farewell” to our current conductor, Katrina Wilson O’Brien and “Welcome” to our new conductor Carl Polke.

We hope current and alumnae Squawkestra members will join us at Northcote Senior Citizens Centre
18A Bent St, Northcote for a 7:45 performance followed by a cup of tea and catch-up.

Starting with our next rehearsal on Thursday 6th May, Squawkestra rehearsals will return to our regular venue of Northcote Senior Citizens Centre, 18A Bent St Northcote.

Please remember – to keep us safe and playing together, continue to observe our COVID-19 precautions:

– Do not attend rehearsals if you are experiencing a fever, sore throat, runny nose, unproductive cough or general feelings of being unwell – get tested and stay at home.

– Do not attend rehearsals if you are confirmed to have a positive COVID-19 result, are waiting for results of a required test or have been advised by DHHS to isolate.

– Pre-install the Service Victoria app on your smart phone (available on both apple and google App stores) so you can check in at each rehearsal by scanning our Squawk QR code.

First Rehearsal for 2021

Last week was our first rehearsal for 2021, and the first in 11 months where we could play together as a real orchestra.  Masked up, checked in and socially-distanced, we got down to do the magical business of music-making, together again.  

First up was an orchestration of the “Tetris Theme”, and just like the the computer game it got faster – and harder – on each repeat.  Then arrangements of pieces from our “Composer of the Season” Sebelius’ Karelia Suite.  After the break, and a welcome catch-up with friends, was our first non-virtual play of K Travers Eira’s Alun Key Supplied. Commissioned by Squawkestra in 2020 during Covid-19 lockdown and first rehearsed in online “Zoom” rehearsals it was a fitting conclusion to our return to in-person rehearsals.

Tonight is our first In-Person rehearsal since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we couldn’t be more excited!

Of course it won’t be quite the same as pre-pandemic rehearsals.  Our Northcote venue isn’t currently available for our use, so we have moved to Fleming Park Hall at 102 Victoria Street Brunswick.  There are a range of DHS regulations that we must follow including venue QR check-in, mask wearing and social distancing.  Full details are available in our Covid-19 Safe Plan, available on the Members page.  We expect that the rules and conditions will continue to change and evolve over time, so will appreciate your assistance and flexibility as we work towards a “Covid Normal” Squawkestra.

With a new venue and a new year, we are ready to Re-Unite!

We are delighted to see Melbourne’s COVID-19 case numbers shrink to zero, and are enjoying the increased freedoms that the relaxation of lockdown restrictions bring.  We now have the opportunity to play together again in small groups in private residences.

However the continuing constraints including total numbers gathering, density & proximity restrictions and in particular very tight limits on the number of wind & brass players means that we will continue with virtual “zoom” rehearsals for our final rehearsals of 2020.  It’s not the same as playing in-person, and we still hit the odd technical hitch (plus the perennial “You’re on mute!”) but it is fun music-making all the same!

Our 2020 AGM will be held in the break of our online Zoom rehearsal on 29 October.

Presented will be last year’s AGM minutes, the Treasurer’s, President’s and Musical Director’s report.  These will also be available in our google docs folder, link to be sent in our regular Squawkestra Update email.

If there is any other business from members please let one of the committee know so it can be added to the agenda.

Please consider nominations (for yourself or others) for President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and a minimum of four committee members as all positions will be declared vacant. If you have always wanted to contribute your energy and ideas to Squawkestra we’d love to have you involved.