This is not how alexander schunk had imagined his first year as chairman of the robfelder musikanten club. "Super start, he says, frustrated, but emphasizes that he and his musicians will not let it get them down. After all, the music group has been allowed to rehearse again for a few months after a quarter of a year"s forced break due to corona. But there are hardly any public appearances, apart from a birthday stand here or a spa concert there.
The year had started so well. The robfeld musicians were busy rehearsing for the easter concert in april, and planning for other concerts and performances had also begun to take shape. In the middle of march the musicians had traveled to erfurt for a rehearsal weekend. But at this point, schunk already had a sinking feeling, which was confirmed by the subsequent lockdown. All concerts and events canceled, no rehearsals, contact restrictions – the full program.
Like so many other clubs, the music club in the bad rodach district does not have it easy. After careful consideration, the autumn festival has now also been cancelled. "In normal years, schunk, who has played trombone in the orchestra since 1997, says "we make music together about 100 days a year, at performances or rehearsals. This year there are maybe 50 and more than 90 percent of them are rehearsals." last week the musicians were allowed to play a birthday booth and on sunday a spa concert. But that was it for 2020. "But there is nothing better for a musician than to stand on the stage. The rehearsals are compulsory, but the stage is cur", explains schunk unanimously for all.
"Community has been missing
Music is above all heart and soul and passion. But the pandemic is also hitting the club hard from a financial point of view. The musicians have received support from the bad rodach burger foundation and the VR bank, but they are still waiting for the substitute from the north bavarian music association, says schunk. And even this was only a reimbursement of costs and could not compensate for the lost revenue. The club lives from and with performances. "I really missed making music together", says andrea buschel. Tim bruckner, the youth representative in the ensemble, also missed his music friends very much. "A little deceleration, adds mom mandy "it was quite good, but tim was missing the team spirit".
As long as the weather is good and it is not too early dark, the rehearsals take place on the sports field next to the old school. The distance is ensured. The rehearsal room is too small with a distance of two meters and about three square meters per musician. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
The family of the youngest member of the orchestra has provided a stable, or rather a coarse machine shop. Here the musicians find enough space. But when winter comes and it gets cold, that doesn't work here either. Only good that there stephan schink on the note of the robfelder musicians has become attentive. The businessman from breitenau has now offered to make one of his warm halls available to the orchestra for rehearsals during the cold season. It's a mammoth task for the association, says schunk, to get through it all. Luckily, he says, knocking on wood, there has been no corona trap in the ensemble and the association so far.
The robfeld team doesn't want to lose sight of its youth development work. That, schunk recalls, almost broke the club's neck in 1995. It was decided at that time to resume youth training. It was the time when schunk and christian mildenberger, who has been the conductor for ten years, followed in their fathers' footsteps – just like 13 other children, by the way.
So in september the brass class starts again, a training program of the music club in cooperation with the school and the city. For the first and second grades, there is musical education in the form of a recorder class, and from the third grade onward, there is a brass class for brass and woodwinds. More than 40 children of primary school age are trained in this way. The club provides instruments, sheet music and teachers free of charge. On 26. October a blaser class workshop is planned. This junior staff work, says schunk, is the flagship and a success story, just like bohemian brass music. The numbers underline this: of the 38 musicians 15 are children and young people.
The hopes for a successful 2021 are not so rough. "When rehearsals are not possible over the winter", so schunk "we can probably forget about this easter concert too." with the event planning one waits anyway. But the association boss is firmly convinced of one thing: "we will come through the crisis as an association, in the best case strengthened and with more cohesion." everything else that is still to come is out of one's hands anyway. "We do not let it get us down."
There are 17 music clubs in the district, all of which face the same problems: rehearsal rooms cannot be used, and there are hardly any alternatives. "Not everyone is as lucky as the robfelds with the stall", says norbert oppel, district chairman of the northern bavarian music association. It is at least a consolation that the band is allowed to play at the kirchweih – ideally, advises oppel, in consultation with the public order department.