CONCERTS are another thing that has not been able to take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but musicians from all across the world have been coming up with innovative ways to use technology so these events can still go ahead.

With Christmas coming up, carol concerts are another musical event that has been canceled.

Tom Hammond-Davies, artistic director and conductor for the Oxford Bach Soloists, explained how musicians have managed to keep performing concerts even during lockdowns and tight Covid-restrictions.

He said: “One of the bright spots in this pandemic is that streaming has been a really positive part of the music sector.

“Technology has been really helpful in keeping people happy and enjoying live music despite being in their home-bound landscapes.

“It is a way for bringing comfort solidarity and relief in these times.”

Mr Hammond-Davies’ ensemble usually performs large concerts regularly for audiences, with the Easter and Christmas periods being their busiest times of the year.

He added: “We do a charity gig each year, for Macmillan, and this year we will be streaming the Christmas concert online.

“It will be half an hour or so video where there will be seasonal readings, poetry, and people’s favourite carols. It is all free, but donations are invited to go towards charity.

“This is not our first online event, however. We had to cancel our Easter weekend concert this year because of this awful virus.

“But we were approached by Dan Norman, who started the production company Positive Note, and he suggested we might do a socially distanced performance of St John Passion to be released on Good Friday.

“At the time we had not anticipated how much hard work and how much time putting together an online performance would take.

“We had over 100 singers and instrumentalists all recording their music in their living rooms.

“It was not like being in a studio, we had to make sure everyone was on the same rhythm, pulse and speed.

“Everyone submitted their recording one by one and we had to stitch it all together with post-production glitter.

“We were so naive at the time, thinking it would only take a week to produce.

“But when we finally got it together we decided to release each section episodically over the Easter period and it turned out amazingly.

“The video has had over 26,000 views, and we raised over £16k for Help Musicians UK”

On Friday December 11 the Macmillan Christmas concert called ‘Follow the Stars’ will launch online.

Oxford Bach Soloists will perform Christmas music alongside celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry. It will be free to stream. Visit macmillan.org.uk/followthestars to pre-register and receive an invitation to watch.

Read the full article here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18885503.oxford-bach-soloists-prepare-christmas-concert/

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