A sign of changing times: Covid app for music groups suspended

The WellRehearsed Covid infection risk-management app had been developed for leisure-time music groups rehearsing during lockdown.

Making Music, the UK membership organisation for leisure-time music groups, and the Association of British Choral Directors (abcd) had offered the app to members free of charge as restrictions began to relax about 10 months ago. During that period, over 8,000 rehearsal reports were submitted by member groups, help Making Music and abcd update their guidance to policy-makers on the likelihood of Covid transmission and infection rates.

In recent weeks, the removal of restrictions across the UK has reduced the volume of reporting, making the data far less effective as an indicator of infection trends across the country. However, the data that has been gathered is being analysed and will result in a final report in due course. And WellRehearsed can be re-instated should there be another wave of infection.

Making Music Chief Executive Barbara Eifler said, ‘This app has been a great example of how we can work together as a community to collect evidence which can help policy makers take the right decisions, and us associations review our guidance in real time. A big thank you is due to all the groups who reported their in-person rehearsals week in week out, whether or not infections subsequently occurred.’

Rachel Greaves, abcd General Secretary, added, ‘After such a long period of stifling restrictions, it has been really uplifting to see so many music groups of all kinds keen to contribute to the data by reporting each week. It has also demonstrated just how many groups have returned to live music-making after lockdown. The app has enabled us to collect data from real rehearsals and has played a vital role in helping us make the case for singing and music-making generally.’