One year ago, a group of chamber music aficionados gathered in a cafe and resolved to found Continuo Community. By the end of July 2021 the organisation was incorporated and the website created with a What’s On full of August events. The first Continuo Connect newsletter went out on Thursday 29 July 2021.
Since then, so much has happened. Almost immediately Victoria went into lockdown, and all those August events were cancelled. Then the September events. Then the October events. But we soldiered on, advertising all the streaming options that we could find. We made the newsletter weekly because we thought people needed something to read. We moved it from Thursday to “hump day” (Wednesday) as it fitted better with the weekly cycle of events.
When lockdown finally ended, there was an explosion of concerts, and we busied ourselves adding them to What’s On and adding information about the ensembles to the Who’s Who section of the website. There was a wealth of new music played or premiered in these concerts, and details of the Victorian composers whose music was featured were also added to Who’s Who.
We started Continuo Community not only to bring chamber music lovers together, but also to commission new chamber music from Victoria-based composers for local ensembles. Funding would come by forming Commissioning Circles, a group of equal contributors for each project. And earlier this year, we put together the first Circle and commissioned our first work.
Given the difficulties of starting something in the middle of a pandemic, we feel that Continuo has done well in its first year.