Over the summer The Hanover Band held a series of outdoor concerts in Bandstands across the South East – in Margate, Brighton and Hastings.
These family friendly concerts brought people together to listen to live classical performances, giving young and older people the opportunity to experience classical music in an outdoor, Covid-safe setting.
The Hanover Harmonie – a historical term to describe the wind section of an orchestra – performed Beethoven’s Wind Octet Opus13 and the Mozart Serenade No 10 K361 in Bandstands – settings we were particularly interested in as historic structures, created both for live music and the community.
In Margate, the Bandstand structure of the Oval Bandstand, is set just off the promenade, within a sunken circular ‘Oval’ space, surrounded by open areas and residential homes – an outdoor venue, centred within the community.
The timing of the launch of our Outdoor Concert Series with the July lifting of the local UK Government restrictions, was particularly encouraging, in that it enabled passing audiences out for their daily walk to attend the concert, in a socially-distanced and safe way.
Communities everywhere across the UK were tentatively beginning to open-up from Lockdown conditions. We were encouraged by the warmth and reception of the audiences. Coming across live-music was particularly special given the surrounding context – an even more ‘heightened’ experience, after these many months of social isolation.
We were particularly delighted by the number of audience members who attended accompanied by their dogs.
“ Your concert was so uplifting and much-needed in these difficult times ”
– CONCERT ATTENDEE
In Brighton, the day was hotter than we could have imagined. The seafront was awash with beach goers, but a committed audience arrived at the Bandstand – parasols and folding chairs at the ready – to enjoy the first live classical performance many had experienced for months.
The atmosphere was gently soothing – with the music mixing together with sounds of the waves – restoring frayed nerves and anxieties collated over the Lockdown period. Passing audiences were drawn in, often to a new experience of classical music, taking time out of their afternoon strolls, to stop, join the crowd and listen.
“ Was so wonderful to come across unexpectedly ”
– CONCERT ATTENDEE
The concert in Hastings made up for the preceding weeks’ bad weather. (Our concert in Crawley, unfortunately was called off, due to sudden severe bouts of both wind and rain.)
Set in the peaceful, grassy context of Alexandra Park, it was a wonderful weekend event, with audiences picnicking on the grass, enjoying a warm, sun-soaked afternoon.
The atmosphere was restorative and sociable. Families gathered to sit and listen, people stopped on their afternoon park walks, taking a moment to absorb the performance. We were impressed with the very well-presented picnics and thankful that the weather continued to smile on us.
“ I loved the deep undertones of the music ”
– CONCERT ATTENDEE
We are particularly grateful for the funding that has made this Series possible. The orchestra was awarded a £75,000 grant by the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund in preparation for its return to the concert hall. The funding was awarded by Arts Council England, Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the British Film Institute.
We look forward to continuing our Outdoor Concert Series and tours of more Bandstands next Summer Season.
Click Here for full information about the Bandstand Series and Summer Outdoor Concerts.
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