Friends & Family Concert

It was wonderful, after so long, to gather our friends and family for a Squawkestra concert.  We shared with them the pieces we initially started in our individual lockdown studies and bedrooms, then our in-person rehearsal “Squawky Tunes” repertoire, and crowned the evening with an arrangement of George Dreyfus’ famous TV theme, Rush.   

Triumphant, we’re looking forward to a bigger and better concert for the end of the year!

Squawky Tunes Season

We kick off 2022 with a season celebrating the music of Raymond Scott, and in particular Carl Stalling’s adaptions known and loved from the the Looney Tunes cartoons.  “Twilight in Squawky” is an arrangement by our conductor Carl Polke of the Scott tune “Twilight in Turkey” and later on in the season we’ll turn our attention to another piece of his, “Powerhouse”.  

The “Loony” theme can also be seen as a nod to the the travails of running a community orchestra into the third year of a pandemic …  only possible with the support and forbearance of our members and creative persistence from our conductor.    With the upcoming relaxing of mask rules we can’t wait to be able to all play together again in March!

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!