In need of a healthy dose of cheer?
Tune into the Woodside Village Band’s virtual rendition of The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. We dare you not to smile while you conduct the band along with Yessica!
The Woodside Village Band’s (WVB) last in-person rehearsal was on Monday, March 9, 2020. The band was eagerly preparing for upcoming concerts in May and June. And then the world changed. In the following weeks, those concerts were postponed and finally cancelled altogether as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world as we know it to a halt.
As the shelter-in-place orders continued longer than expected, WVB Conductor Yessica Gallagher began thinking about the virtual concerts she was seeing on Facebook and YouTube. Calling on a college classmate who recorded her clarinet recitals in college, Yessica and her colleague, along with the intrepid members of the Woodside Village Band, created a virtual concert of their own featuring The Teddy Bear’s Picnic (written by John Walter Bratton, 1907).
Since the virtual concert is a compilation of videos, they were able to include some family members who play instruments and some Band members were able to play multiple parts on one instrument or even multiple instruments—something that can’t be done during a live performance.
When asked why she chose The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Yessica said,
“I decided on this piece because we’ve never done a virtual concert and I wanted to choose a piece the band is comfortable with. We perform this piece two to three times a year. I consider it to be the Band’s signature piece.”
And for a bit of history about the Woodside Village Band’s long-time affinity for this piece, here’s a story from Deborah Gordon, wife of the WVB’s first Conductor Richard Gordon…
“On August, 23, 2003 our first granddaughter, Katharine (Katie) Alexandra Littlefield, was born and we were delighted. Carrie delivered by C-section so mother and daughter were both still in the hospital on Monday night, August 25. Richard was ecstatic to be a grandfather and wanted to welcome Katie into the world with something special so he decided to introduce her to the Woodside Village Band by giving her her first concert when she was two days old. The band was prepared and as Carrie held the hospital phone to Katie’s ear, the Band played The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Richard (Pops) claims he could see her smiling. From then on, he often played it for her at concerts and she always knew it was especially for her. Pops and Katie were a very special pair.”
If you would like to see more virtual concerts from the Woodside Village Band, consider making a donation today. Funds will be used to cover the costs of new music and video production.
As Yessica says,
“It’s going to be a long time before the band can practice and perform together. Making this video was a great way to keep the band together and connected during these difficult times. We hope our friends will help keep us going!”
Learn more about the Woodside Village Band here.