A whole new take on playing in the street

FRIDAY evening music performances led by a Woking family have been cheering up the surrounding streets for the past 19 weeks.

Mabel Street Music, featuring the talented Lawrence family, held its grand finale last week after its debut on 27 March.

Joanna and Martin with their children, Stan and Nona

The group consists of professional musicians Martin and Joanna Lawrence, accompanied by their children Stan, 17, and Nona, 15, with various other local musicians joining in.

The repertoire has ranged from classical, through jazz, folk and pop, with some evenings devoted to the Beatles and Madness, with neighbours joining in the singing.

Joanna teaches music at local schools and one of the highlights was a performance by 24 of her pupils, all playing the violin.

In addition to the main band, there have been horn duets, classical piano recitals, and folk music with traditional Irish dancing for the birthday of a neighbour.

Bold as brass

Joanna said all the visiting musicians have kept to social distancing regulations, as have neighbours, who have come outside to listen. Some have leant out of their windows and others have brought out chairs to their front gardens and the pavement.

The position of Mabel Street has added to the atmosphere as it is a relatively quiet street, running from Goldsworth Road to the Basingstoke Canal at the Bridge Barn.

“A lot of families have brought their children out to listen and we have had a sense that people have been really looking forward to it,” Joanna said,

Mabel Street Music was lucky with the weather and was rained off only once.

“We felt it helped the community but are now having a summer break. We might reconvene in the autumn,” Joanna said.

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