overview of our 2020 course
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Our Thirteenth Year
by Course Director, Sarah Gleadell
Along with almost everything else, Magdalen Farm Strings 2020 was officially cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Maybe the number thirteen was living up to its reputation – at least as far as we were concerned. However, Bonnie and Alma were determined that 2020 would not be their first Easter without Magdalen since 2008, so they ran a ‘Virtual Magdalen Farm Strings’ – via Zoom and Facebook. They tried to mimic the structure of the day that normally happens at Magdalen, with morning musical activities, including learning a folk song, choir, Dalcroze, practise tips with Alma and improvisation; various fun dorm tasks for the afternoons, like make an outfit from what you can find at home; and evening activities that included a Feldenkrais workshop and an online pub quiz. Of course nothing online could ever live up to the excitement of the true Magdalen experience, but Alma and Bonnie were so impressed with the commitment and willingness to try from everyone involved (as well as their patience over dodgy wi-fi and questionable tech skills).
It was wonderful to see so many of the children sending videos and photos of them completing the various musical and fun tasks that we had set them to do at home, and it seemed that the afternoon ‘dorm’ group chats were a success, and hopefully a bit of a break from being stuck, isolated, with just their families. It was even possible to do a virtual talent show, a Magdalen Farm Strings tradition, and this was due to the participants’ positive attitude and thirst for fun, even in those challenging times.
A huge thank you to Alma, Bonnie, Polly and Becca for their continued commitment to the course and all their help and support with the organisation of it, and also to Colin Matthews, Miranda Rutter and Josephine Horder for their guest appearances in some of the evening activities.
Although we know it wasn’t the same – we hope it was still fun and that you learned something throughout the week – and we can’t wait to see you for MFS 2021!
Do watch this video, which the Orr-Ewing Family made in April for the Virtual Magdalen Farm Strings ‘Talent Show’.