Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Anthem: The final day

Mon 2 Apr 2012

York-concert

Unbelievably, the last day of the Anthem tour has arrived and we find ourselves in the beautiful city of York.  As it was the final day we had to go out with a bang and so had organised a complicated day starting in the University and ending in the National Centre for Early Music.  Today we performed two concerts, the first one was our ‘normal’ afternoon schools concert, where four local primary schools joined us and the second concert was a public concert where York University students joined us and played and sang alongside the OAE.

It was a big day with the Jack Lyons Concert Hall providing the perfect setting for our last schools concert of the tour.  The battle scene was the most elaborate performance yet – I was wondering how they were going to top the theatre performance, but they did – the woodwind and brass got involved with the (string only) performance by using their instruments as pretend weapons.…  The improvisation battle was also very intense with Martin Lawrence (horn) competing against Ken Aiso (violin) in a copying contest – I don’t know if you could say who won, but a stunning performance was given by both!  The pupils from Bootham, Dringhouses, Heworth and Dunnington schools were simply fantastic in their rendition of Twangling Instruments and My Cry. We were all quite emotional at the end of their performance where 300 voices rang out “I am here!”

The evening concert was a slight change of pace from the schools concerts we have been delivering and was a lovely way to complete the tour.  We were joined by university students and gave a performance of Bach’s Wachet Auf and Vivaldi’s Gloria.  The whole night was finished by a final performance of My Cry, where we invited the youngest member of the audience – Kate, a 4 year old pupil who had learnt the piece for the Schools Concert, to join the choir and sing with us.  Ceri and I even went up on stage for a final sing and it felt brilliant!

So that was the end of the tour, I have had a simply fantastic time and felt incredibly privileged to witness all the wonderful work of everyone involved.

Also, today marked the end of the tandem ride – over 700 miles completed alongside 11 concerts – a truly incredible achievement.  I think all tandemers were quite sad it was over!  It’s not over though, well the bike ride is, but we still have a London concert to go, plus the summer term Anthem projects, so… watch this space!

A tired but happy, Ellie Cowan, OAE Education Officer

You can also watch a video of the York concert here.

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