The show must go on

PO2 Alastair Chaplin

PO2 Alastair Chaplin

SLt Joshua Ehnisz, MARPAC Public Affairs Office ~

For the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy the show must go on despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Band members are safely isolating at home, but need to keep their skills fresh. This means practicing alone and together from afar.

“Individual practice is a part of the Naden Band’s routine regardless of isolation,” said PO2 Alastair Chaplin, senior musician and trumpet player. “The difficulty has been rehearsals, if we can’t get together, rehearsing pieces as a band is impossible.”

Video conferencing apps such as Zoom have been considered, but when it comes to music rehearsals they lack the connection speed needed to effectively transfer audio quickly enough for them to play together in rhythm.

“We are like athletes in a sense. Although right now athletes can’t compete, but they still need to maintain a rigorous workout schedule in order to stay alert and ready to compete. The Naden Band has much the same approach. We need to practice and maintain our proficiency and keep playing our instruments. If we break for weeks and months it would be difficult to immediately start performing at events once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” he adds.

The band is looking at more in-depth measures to improve individual practicing and the possibility of compiling audio recordings to better synchronize them.

They remain optimistic that some upcoming events will be held, of course public health remains the highest priority and they will continue to wait until healthcare professionals deem it appropriate.

“We all do our best no matter the circumstances and are very committed and passionate about what we contribute to the country and the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lt(N) Catherine Norris, Commanding Officer and Director of Music of the Naden Band. “We stay creative, run different ideas, develop videos and audio projects, and are active physically, as well as through personal practice. Our members have a variety of talents that are contributing in innovative ways to our efforts to support the Royal Canadian Navy and its mission.”

The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy has been in operation since 1940 and is comprised of  35 professional full-time musicians. Typically, they provide musical support to ceremonial events such as the annual Remembrance Day and Battle of Atlantic parades, the opening of the Provincial Legislature, and official visits from heads of state. Naval operations are supported through the Band’s performances at ship arrivals and departures, change of command ceremonies, and other functions at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt and around the region.

The Band performs in a variety of ensembles ranging from parade band and concert band to stage band, brass and woodwind quintets, and rock and contemporary ensembles.

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