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Orkney Wedding with Sunrise


Wow, what an honour and a privilege to join the absolutely superb musicians of The Leicester Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of their inception. I was lucky enough to be able to sit through the first half and listened to some superb arrangements including Finlandia, Nimrod to name but a few. Then during the interlude, had to quickly get to the dressing room and get kitted out in the Seaforth Highlanders Modern Mackenzie tartan kilt attire (for both the Nottingham and Leicester branches of The Seaforth Highlanders) in preparation of stepping out from the side of the stage so that the sound starts to appear from the distance. The arrangement was Orkney Wedding with Sunrise by Peter Maxwell-Davis which very briefly is a masterful orchestration that depicts a wedding on the Isle of Hoy where guests arrive and all jolly, then drink kicks in and the quietens down towards the end the evening, then the walk back along the causeway where the sun begins to rise and a piper way off in the distance - So, there I was waiting in the wings at the side heart thumping like crazy counting the 2/4 bars to make sure the timing was spot on and then the sound guy opened the side door and the conductor looked across and with the flick of the baton, I punched the bag and the 'A' concert pitch chanter blew into action with the dotted quaver movement to join the sunrise. Then a steady slow walk across to the front of the stage where the 1st Violin had kindly moved her seat back a few inches to allow me to sidle into place. The sound of the Orchestra was just terrific - a wall of deep rich tones and colour and blimey, what an experience to stand there and be a part of this. We played through to the end as the conductor brought the orchestra to the rousing end few bars whilst I held the sustained D note until the very last rising close sound and tympani of the orchestra (by this time,I'd transcended into another world with rabbit in the headlights going on) then a tumultuos frenzy of applause and cheers from the audience as I shook hands with the 1st Violin and then with Dr. John Andrews and at which point, we raised a glass of whiskey each and toasted the audience and then each other. A truly memorable occasion and so proud to have performed with such a talented group of musicians including tow lovely friend Ed De Salis Young and his lovely wife Nina. Now I want to do it all again :-)


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