Code of Conduct for face-to-face rehearsals during the
COVID-19 pandemic in line with the Rule of Six

Prepared by the BWE Committee
23 September 2020

As more activities are starting up again and in response to requests from members, the BWE committee has met and reviewed government guidance and other guidance available to amateur music groups to take an informed view on whether it is safe to rehearse.  It is clear there are challenges relating to playing as a wind ensemble in a COVID-19 environment, but also that it is possible to rehearse with appropriate measures in place.  In working this through, the Rule of Six that was recently introduced has been observed and the committee will continue to monitor the changing requirements.

The BWE committee has liaised with the Turweston Village Hall and reviewed their risk assessment, as well as sharing the one created by the committee for BWE (based on templates for amateur musical groups adjusted to our circumstances).  Both will be available on the BWE website.  The Turweston Hall is willing for BWE to play on Wednesday evenings and has enhanced cleaning in place.

BWE is keen to respond to member interest by resuming rehearsals and putting in place arrangements to make rehearsals as safe as can reasonably be achieved.  We have adjusted our group sizes and rehearsal timings to make this possible. BWE have prepared this code of conduct alongside a risk assessment to illustrate how we will be running rehearsals safely and to communicate what we need from each member to ensure a safe rehearsal space.  We thank you for your co-operation with these as it depends on all of us working together to ensure we achieve a playing environment that is as safe as possible.

The times of our Wednesday evening sessions are changing so that we can have two smaller groups each week, of no more than 5 players plus the Musical Director.  Over two to three weeks, all who wish to and who can be available as scheduled on Wednesday evenings, will have the opportunity to play.  Where possible the groups will comprise one section of the same or similar instruments; sometimes there will be more of a mixture to best optimise availability of places.  There will be a 20-minute break between the two sessions, to allow for socially distanced departure and arrival and ventilation of the hall.

Group 1:  7.30 – 8.20 (with 10 minutes to arrive and set up at 7.20 and ten minutes to depart after 8.20).
Group 2:  8.40 – 9.30 (with 10 minutes to arrive and set up at 8.30 and ten minutes to depart after 9.30).

Your committee has been working hard to put arrangements in place and will continue to review changing requirements as well as to run the protocols outlined in the risk assessment.  We cannot do this without your help – everyone has a part to play to make rehearsals work safely and to keep our commitments to our venue, as they are doing to us.


What we need from BWE members attending rehearsals to rehearse safely

Prior to attending rehearsals and sickness protocol

  • Check any restrictions applying in your home location and do not attend rehearsal if you are subject to local restrictions that would not allow you to attend

  • Consider whether you are in a higher risk group or have vulnerable individuals in your circle; make a personal decision whether you are willing to attend on that basis

  • In attending rehearsals, you accept that a record of your attendance will be made and contact details taken and could be made available to Test and Trace if needed.  This information will be retained for 21 days after the rehearsal.

  • Do not attend rehearsals for 14 days if you can answer yes to any of the following:

    •  Do you have any of the COVID symptoms: elevated temperature, continuous cough, loss of/change in sense of smell and/or taste?

    • Have you been in close contact with someone with symptoms or a positive test?

    • Have Track and Trace asked you to self-isolate?

    • Have you returned from abroad and been asked to self-isolate because of that?

  • Tell a committee member immediately if you have had a positive test for COVID-19 or have been instructed to self-isolate

  • If you fall ill with COVID-19 symptoms, get tested as soon as possible, inform Test and Trace and keep your BWE committee member updated with relevant information.  Information may be shared with the committee, musical director and Test and Trace as needed, but will otherwise be kept confidential.

  • Travel safely to rehearsal – recommended to be by car and not sharing lifts, unless with someone in your own bubble.


At rehearsals

  • Wear a face covering at all times, except when playing.

  • Maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres with other BWE members and the Musical Director

  • Observe and follow relevant safety signage at the Turweston Village Hall

  • If sneezing or coughing, use a tissue or the crook of your arm

  • Avoid hugging, hand shaking or lingering to chat

  • Ensure you arrive in the ten-minute arrival slot for your allocated playing session (not early or late – wait in your car if you arrive early).  Follow advice from your Musical Director as to when it is clear to come into the hall or leave (particularly at the change-over between the two session) so as to ensure 2 metre social distancing and to avoid contact with the other (leaving or arriving) group.

  • Ensure if you are using the bathroom, this is on a one-at-a-time basis, wearing a face mask and making use of the soap/hand sanitizer provided

  • Avoid speaking loudly or shouting.  Also don’t play loudly (this is a chance to listen, practice intonation and practice playing softly!)

  • Stay seated in your rehearsal chair for your full 50-minute session (unless using the bathroom).  Don’t move around the room during the session.


What to bring/not to bring/what to take away again

  • Bring a face mask to rehearsal and wear it when you are not actually playing

  • If you want to have something to drink, bring it with you in a suitable container and have it at your rehearsal place.  Don’t bring any food with you (Turweston Hall requirement).

  • Limit the amount of stuff you bring with you to what you really need (so we don’t have too much stuff in the hall) and keep it by your chair

  • Remove your own rubbish

  • Bring a towel with you in a sturdy plastic bag, to place on the floor by your instrument and catch any drips.  Take this away with you in the plastic bag (along with any rubbish) and wash the towel thoroughly between rehearsals

  • Ensure you have printed (from the BWE google drive) and brought with you your own music, in line with the published rehearsal schedule; no music can be given out at rehearsal or shared

  • Bring your own rehearsal pencil, stand and drink (if you wish) – nothing is to be shared


Thanks for your co-operation with this code of conduct, which will help keep us safe and follow what we have committed to in our risk assessment.  Please do not hesitate to ask a member of the committee if you have any questions.  Please indicate to a member of the committee as requested that you have read and agree with the requirements of the Code of Conduct as soon as possible and prior to attending a first reinstated rehearsal. 

Dear Musician,
Please see below a list of the current repertoire.  The only repertoire to add to this will be 2 or 3 movements of a Beethoven Octet (Blaseroktett) entitled 'Pathia' opus 103 - I'm looking at first and third movements plus possible the fourth.
As it seem likely with the world as it is, our next concert may well be the one at Swalcliffe Church on 21st November 2020.
I have tried to take into account the varying standards of the players and mixing up easier and more challenging work: then mixing up the repertoire so we have popular song, jazzy film, renaissance, classical, classical-romantic and twentieth century music.  Yes, I know we aim for concerts but I still want to try and make Wednseday evenings enjoyable - even if I have to jump around and buy new jumpers nearly every week.
With the considerable help and patience from our IT genious, we have moved forward with the use of the BWE Google Drive,  this will make it easier for players to access both their own part but see how it relates to the full score. 
If however, you have difficulty accessing your music, let me or Natalie know, I can send music via email (I will attach your part as a PDF to your home account) and Natalie can look into any Google Drive issues.  In this way, we will never run out of copies and of course we will always have a master score with parts on file for the future, which again should save the group money in the long term.  The plan is to eventually have an mp3 audio file or recording of all the repertoire pieces so that you can listen.
This is our current repertoire:
Band of Brothers
Can- Can
Distant Stars
Forest Gump
Glenn Miller
The Lone A-ranger
Octet (Menelssohn)
The Seal Lullaby
You Make me feel so young
Adagio - Samuel Barber
Passacaglia & Touch her soft lips - William Walton
Serenade in F - C V Stanford
I am well aware that there is no 'magic money tree' for music and the list below will I think not be added to before Easter next year - if we do a Christmas concert, I will look at stuff we have played before - Corelli's Christmas Concert and Bach/Handel - that we can, with a bit of rescoring, produce with not much rehearsal time. 
With the way the world has gone, it might be an idea to be more community-based at Christmas rather than a formal concert.......something to mull over.
Notes for Practise....
Practise is better done regularly and in short bursts - even 10 minutes a day is worth it (2 lots of 15 minutes is better learning time than 30 mins in one go).
Don't always start from bar one; play the last 16 bars, then the previous 16 bars.
Warm up with something familiar; move on to a challenge; finish with something fun in a practise session
Pick out a tricky passage and play it very slowly - work out why it is tricky.
Use a mirror to practise in front of and watch your fingers.
Sometimes just forget the music and concentrate on tone and control of you dynamic range whilst still staying in tune.
Practise without blowing into the instrument - finger technique and music memory.
Most of all, enjoy your playing.