One of the biggest losses of the long Covid lockdown has been not being able to play music with the Fiddle Group. Enthusiasm for Zoom sessions began to drop and the ceilidh band was unable to practice until we found a way of playing online without the usual problem of sound latency. We now use a platform called JamKazam. The GDMT helped meet the cost of the audio equipment for the younger players and we now have weekly ceilidh band practices.

Here is what some of the band members have said:

  • “JamKazam has really encouraged me to continue playing during lockdown and to keep the ceilidh band together, practicing regularly and learning new tunes.”
  • “… it is great fun and really good practice for when we get back to playing in ceilidhs”
  • “ it’s a lifeline for live music, letting us develop as a ceilidh band”
  • “It’s been fantastic to be able to play with the ceilidh band again …. all playing together …. a great comfort being able to talk to the band in real time. Thank you to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust for this super opportunity.”
  • “It’s so much fun to be able to have a proper Ceilidh Band practice”
  • “The equipment is spectacular because it means that we can all play together at the same time- its feels like we are in the same room!”
  • “I have gained confidence and precision in my playing [from online sessions]”
  • “the audio kit purchased with funds generously donated by the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust has been a complete game changer”

Our ceilidh band relies on young people passing on their experience and the tunes to the next generation. The virtual band practice sessions have brought back that continuity and have protected the long chain of experience which goes back 25 years in the group. None of us can wait to play live together again but for now this is a great substitute.

Submitted by: Andrew Bachell
Year of award:  2020