Prince Albert Concert Band releases Christmas concert virtually

Video available to watch on Vimeo or YouTube

The Prince Albert Concert Band’s Christmas concert looks a little different this year and is available to watch online. (Screen capture/Kayleigh Skoromowski)

The Prince Albert Concert Band is hoping to spread a little Christmas cheer with a pre-recorded concert.

The video is available to watch on Vimeo and YouTube. 

“Christmas concerts are kind of a big part of what we do so we just really wanted to do one in whatever way we could,” director Kayleigh Skomorowsk said.

Skomorowski said the band has committed to following guidelines from the province, and they also follow additional recommendations from the Saskatchewan Band Association (SBA). The SBA guidelines are based on a study done in Colorado that looked at the amount of aerosol spray from playing instruments and singing to determine how to safely play together.

In October, the Herald spoke to Skoromowski about how the concert band is still continuing to practice and rehearse together safely. 

In previous years,  the concert band has hosted a joint Christmas concert with the Prince Albert Children’s Choir at the E.A. Rawlinson centre. 

This year, the concert band spread out in the Calvary Church and played for no longer than 30 minutes. 

“Research has shown that…without a full air exchange that 30 minutes is really the longest you should be playing or singing in a room,” Skomorowski said. 

The band plays three short sets throughout the video. Each band member has four metres of distance between them, which is what the provincial government required at the time it was filmed.

“We were out there with a measuring tape making sure everybody was distanced as they need to be,” Skoromowski added.

There were other challenges, as well, like finding music that the group could perform well together since practices are split into smaller groups for physical distancing. 

“We were all practicing the same music but we didn’t all play together as one group until the evening of the recording,” Skomorowski said. 

She found music that was flexible for all instruments, so regardless of which instruments showed up for practice they could still make it work. 

The group put together the concert video with two communities in mind. The first being the band members themselves. 

“It was for all of us musicians just to feel a bit of normalcy and have the chance to do the thing we value most especially at this time of year,” Skoromowski explained. 

The other community in mind was the audience, who she says may not have noticed how much live music is a part of life. 

“We wanted to be able to not only play for ourselves but also to share some of that feeling of Christmas with the greater community,” Skomorowski said. 

“The hope was if people that are trying to maybe get into the holiday spirit, or looking for a break from Netflix, to be able to sit down and enjoy it because it is a nice short little video,” she added. 

The video also features profiles of band members, something the concert band has never had the chance to do in a live concert in the past. It was an opportunity for the group to share more about their members who are involved.  

“Maybe people watching will consider in the future getting involved themselves once they know a bit more about what we’re about.” 

The concert band doesn’t currently have any plans for events in the spring. They were rehearsing outdoors in the fall, in the Northern Lights Casino parking lot as it allows for more people to play together and for a longer period of time. Skomorowski brought up the idea of an outdoor concert but said it depends on what happens with the pandemic.
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