June 2020 Newsletter

On-line Rehearsals

We are really pleased that Surrey Arts are now organising online rehearsals via Zoom and we have just organised the CYWO rehearsals for the rest of term.


Junior Section

The Junior Section led the way with their first meeting last Saturday.  Each member of the group has been invited to compose a section of music that will feed into a brand new piece of music which will be performed at our first concert after lockdown.  It was great to see everybody and to be able to play along with them thanks to the wonders of technology.


Senior and Intermediate Sections

Plans are in place for us to meet via Zoom starting on Saturday June 27th.  We have lots of ideas for 'play alongs' and other activities but will be starting on the 27th by asking what pieces you might like to play and for other ideas of things that you would like to do.


We will send out a play list for the first rehearsal so get practising!

Safeguarding and getting prepared for the first rehearsal

As you would expect there are some significant challenges around online rehearsals and Surrey County Council have very strict guidelines for the running of them.  All of the staff have done a considerable amount of further safeguarding training focusing on teaching in an online environment.


Over the next few days everybody will receive a separate email from Surrey Arts asking parents to complete a consent form to take part in activities as well as a code of conduct and safeguarding information.  Without completing these and returning them as per their instructions it will not be possible for members to take part.


On the whole I would say that all members should behave in the same way that they do on a Saturday morning with all the same levels of polite behaviour that we always enjoy at rehearsals.  


However there are two really important things that need to be done ahead of the rehearsals for all members.

  1. Parents need to make sure that the Zoom identity is set to the member's name and needs to display as First Name and Last Name.  Please check this before the rehearsal as they will not be allowed into the meeting unless their name is clearly showing.

  2. You must 'allow video' and the member must be clearly visible on camera at all times.  It is worth checking that your camera works before Saturday morning so that we can start the rehearsal smoothly.

Staffing and Rehearsal Times

We are keen to use breakout rooms to give everyone the chance to chat with friends and perhaps do some sectional work we need the help of tutors from across each section. Therefore we have decided to run each rehearsal for an hour each Saturday morning on a rota basis which means that each group will rehearse 2 weeks of every 3.  This is slightly different for the juniors who have already started.


The rehearsal schedule for the rest of term is as follows:


Online Rehearsal Duration - 1 Hour

  • 20 June - 9.45 - Junior

  • 27 June - 9.30 - Junior

  • 27 June - 9.30 - Senior

  • 27 June - 11.00 - Intermediate

  • 4 July - 9.30 - Junior

  • 4 July - 11.00 - Senior

  • 11 July - 9.30 - Junior

  • 11 July - 11.00 - Intermediate

  • 18 July - 9.30 - Senior

  • 18 July - 11.00 - Intermediate

More information to follow next week

Surrey Arts will be setting up each Zoom rehearsal and will email you the link and password a few days before each rehearsal.  We are asked not to post the links on social media.

We will also be in touch next week with some music that we would like you to have ready to play.  All members apart from our percussionists should have their music and we will find ways to make percussion parts available next week.


Autumn Term

We, of course still do not know exactly what will be happening over the coming months but we will be planning a rehearsal schedule of online meetings for the autumn term and will of course be keen to get back to rehearsing in person at Cordwalles as soon as we can.  We'll keep everybody updated as soon as we know any more.  Any members that are due to leave us at the end of term are very welcome to join us for any of our rehearsals and concerts next year.


Look forward to seeing you

After such a strange and frustrating few months it will be lovely to see everybody again and hope that you are all able to join us online.

Best wishes


Mark Cardy

Musical Director CYWO