WFAO Lounge – Restarting amateur orchestras after the pandemic and the lockdown
WFAO Lounge – Restarting amateur orchestras after the pandemic and the lockdown

WFAO Lounge – Restarting amateur orchestras after the pandemic and the lockdown

WFAO invites all members and other interested parties to join our first online WFAO Lounge. It will take place on Sunday, March 21st 2021, at 1PM to 3PM UTC, using the platform Microsoft Teams. As our main topic for this event, we have chosen “Restarting amateur orchestras after the pandemic and the lockdown”.

The WFAO Lounges is part of our new communication platform, as we wish to stay closer in touch with our members throughout the year, and invite to fruitful discussions and exchange of ideas. The WFAO Lounges shall provide a source of new ideas and inspiration and give assistance to the members in meeting common challenges. We also want to create synergies from exchanging between members from different countries, and let members learn from each other.

Restarting amateur orchestras after the pandemic and the lockdown

In most countries making music, rehearsing and performing concerts have been shut down due to the pandemic for one year or at least for several month. Such a dramatic musical silence has never happened before. In addition, amateur music activities seem to be some of the last things to reopen as the communities slowly, slowly recovers. We are hopeful that soon we can play together again in orchestras, and also to the public.

The situation is different from country to country, from city to city. But the general struggle is common all over the world. When social distancing is necessary, we lose the possibility to actually play together. How will it look like when we can reopen? Will something have changed? And are we, as orchestra organizers, able to influence the decision makers in the reopening process?

Some key questions to be discussed in this WFAO Lounge:

  • Do we expect a substantial loss of orchestras or long-term damages of the amateur orchestra scene?
  • Or will the amateur orchestra scene recover completely?
  • Under which circumstances and restrictions will rehearsals and concerts be possible?
  • What could be and should be done in supporting the restart of amateur orchestras?
  • How can orchestras regain their members and recruit new players after the lockdown?

We open for further questions to be added and provided by the participants in preparation of the meeting until March 18th).

With us, we have the BDLO employee Dr. Kiyomi von Frankenberg from Germany. She is part of a network “Restarting Amateur Music”, which deals with how the amateur music scene in Germany best can reopen. At the WFAO Lounge, she will present their findings, and provide some useful insights in how they work to best facilitate the reopening. Afterwards, we will invite the participants into discussing their experiences and thoughts on the future.

Short introduction to Dr. Kiyomi von Frankenberg

Now: head of legal advisory centre at Federal Association of German Amateur Orchestras
Before: public cultural administration, defence attorney, teaching at universities
Always: playing the cello

Other topics

An important part of the WFAO Lounges will also be the arena for the members to discuss the topics they want, and bring new ideas to discussion. After the main topic, we will invite the participants to present current topics, where they would like to exchange ideas with WFAO and the members of the organization. The session is open for all matters and questions.

We hope to see many orchestra music makers at this first WFAO Lounge, both organizers and musicians, and look forward to exciting and fruitful discussions. Welcome!

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