Well we’ve come to the end of what has been a very challenging, but in most cases an extremely rewarding Season. I feel we have not just survived, but emerged from the after effects of the Pandemic with a renewed appetite for what gives us most pleasure – making music together!
We have just enjoyed our final choir and orchestral concerts of 2021-22. The choir’s Midsummer Magic proved to be a great success with a really good audience, most of whom left with a smile on their face! A big thank you to Frances, Nikki, Audrey, Charlie and all the helpers who turned up to construct (and dismantle) the staging and create such a successful, more informal performance space. I feel extremely sorry for the people who were unable to sing last night; it was so disappointing for you to miss out on such a jolly occasion after all that hard work.
It would have been demanding enough to leave The Colosseum and move to a different venue in normal times, but within the COVID restrictions it was a nightmare to forward plan and budget for this Concert Season. The unknowns far exceeded the definite knowns! We had no idea of numbers of returning choir members, possible audience numbers or how the Grand Hall would perform as a suitable concert venue – and additionally without the Front of House infrastructure of ticketing facilities etc.
WPS simply could not have produced the four choral and one orchestral concerts that we did without your unbelievably hard working Committee and our two professionals, Michael and Rosemary. Each new problem that arose – from setting up the ticketing system through to following COVID regulations to the letter to allow us to rehearse and perform – was tackled with a determination to get us back up and running as quickly and safely as possible. Additionally, the Zoom rehearsals continued well into this year and helped many members to keep in touch with what was going on. For this we thank you all.
I personally also want to thank those of you who came forward and answered our pleas for help at the EGM. It is most gratifying to know that we have people in place to take over vacant positions on the Committee at the October AGM. Consequently, Publicity is under control and we have enjoyed a splendid quiz supper – our first Social event for a very long time. Many aspects contribute to the smooth running of the Society and earn and save us money – and we should never forget the excellent weekly raffle that has raised over £1000 this season alone!
I know there is a good deal of concern about our future rehearsal venue in September. We have been advised that rental charges for Monday rehearsals will increase by over 65% to cover the cost of energy bills. As Trustees of the Charity we are bound to ensure that the best interests of the Society and our members are administered. As I write nothing has been settled, we are still in negotiations. We have possible alternatives, but we are in no hurry to sever our connections with WGGS or lose our base in Watford (particularly whilst the Colosseum is closed). I am very aware of the impact a move may have on some of our members. Be assured I will keep you informed as soon as I am able to do so.
I have spoken before about WPS being much more than just a musical society. We are a family and that has been evident by the way in which so many members have rallied round to help. We love what we do and long may we continue to do so!
Have a good break and I do hope we have a full house when we return to rehearse in September for the 2022-23 Season. It’s going to be great!
With very best wishes
Watford Philharmonic Society