8 months ago, just before St. Patrick’s Day, the first restrictions resulting from COVID-19 were announced, effectively shutting down Masamba, along with most of the arts and entertainment industries. We have had a stop-start existence then (mainly stopped), but regardless of the restrictions, we have continued working to the best of our abilities. Here are the latest updates.
A few weeks back, we recommenced work in St. James’s Primary School, delivering 8 sessions each day with children aged between 5 and 13 years of age. The school is following the guidelines on keeping children in small pods, with no interaction between pods, and strict hygiene for both tutors and instruments. We have successfully negotiated a way of delivering percussion sessions in these circumstances. It is a compromise, but everyone is happy to be back playing music and having fun.
We are also starting a project with Loreto College, Crumlin, whereby we will deliver workshops with their music staff, so that they can deliver percussion classes to their students. Music staff in the school have chosen percussion, as it is a safer methodology than, for example, choral work. This is potentially great news for us. Loreto College has a long, and proud history of music-making, and we are sure we can work with them to deliver a top-quality drumming option in the school.
It’s not all plain sailing…
Even with these exciting projects, Masamba is operating severely under capacity at the moment. We will need to increase the amount of workshops and performances we do to remain financially viable. Our government has made serious efforts to support industries that have been damaged by their policies in reaction to COVID-19. So far, none of them have been suitable to our needs. We’d rather trade our way out our current troubles, but if we are prevented from working, then funding will be necessary to keep the good ship Masamba on the high seas.