Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Ay up me ducks: the Orchestra crawls north

Wed 29 Apr 2015

Our intrepid Deputy Director of Development, Harriet Lawrence, followed the Orchestra to Chesterfield. Here she reports back on what she found…

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Day Seven: Anthem in Chesterfield

Fri 30 Mar 2012

Chesterfield-concert-2

On Sunday evening we drove from Bury St Edmunds to Chesterfield after the terrific family fun day at the Apex Centre.  You know you are approaching Chesterfield when you see the crooked church spire that punctuates the skyline.  This magnificent landmark can be seen from the motorway and I was instantly reminded of a picture that hangs on the wall at my parents house of a painting of a town with a church that has a crooked spire.  All these years I had assumed the church with a crooked spire was artistic licence, only to discover that it is real and we were performing right next to it in an equally picturesque theatre!

Now, it is no secret that I have a bit of a thing for the theatre and the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield was such a sweet charismatic setting for our 9th Anthem concert.  Whilst setting the stage for the Orchestra, Ceri and I managed to take a couple of jazz hands photos (I mean, it would be rude not to, we were in a theatre) in amongst the stands and harpsichord (see below).  The stage was set ready for the OAE  but this concert was slightly different in that we were joined by the ukulele orchestra from Newbold Secondary School.  The pupils sat on stage behind the Orchestra and performed a piece they had created – Pachelbel’s canon mixed with Britney Spears!  The theatrical surroundings were perfect for this new remix and the performance of this piece was a fantastic precursor to what we can expect to develop in the summer term as part of the Anthem project.

As well as Newbold Ukulele Orchestra, we were blessed with a fantastic audience of children from four local Chesterfield schools who performed Twangling Instruments and My Cry with great aplomb.  Naturally, with the Orchestra being on stage in a theatre, the players acted even more outrageously during the Biber Battallia performance and I dread to think what will happen tomorrow to outdo this performance!

The cyclists also had a very dramatic day with the second tandem of the tour breaking mid journey – this time the gears went. Trepid tandemers Jonathan Rees and James Toll valiantly rode on with only 3 gears working and made it to the theatre with about 45 minutes to spare.  The bike then had to be taken to be fixed so Jonathan heroically cycled the tandem (solo) to a bike shop (about 2 miles from the theatre) and explained the challenge and the time frame (they had about an hour to fix it while he played a concert).  Jonathan made it back to the theatre with only a few minutes to spare before the start of the concert.  Luckily for us, J E James Cycles rose to the challenge and had fixed the bike by the end of the concert ready for the next big ride- Chesterfield to York-with an overnight stop in Thorne.

After such a theatrical day, it was with a little sadness I waved goodbye to the crooked spire of Chesterfield but I look forward to the beautiful city of York and all it has to offer tomorrow.

Ellie Cowan, OAE Education Officer (written on Monday 26 March)


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