On Monday 2nd July, our school orchestra weathered the weather to perform for the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through Corby.
It all began when we were approached by the local council to provide the iconic Chariots of Fire by Vangelis as the Torch bearers passed along Wescott Way. Meetings, emails, telephone calls and rehearsals followed leading up to the grand occasion.
There were 4 music stages along this particular part of the route, and Kingswood were in spot number two, between Corby Rangers and Lodge Park.
We arrived in plenty of time to decorate our stage area, and put up flags and bunting (skillfully created by our very own Sandra Mandziuk) plus donated extras. With 22 performers, it was quite a quick activity with all hands on deck.
Once seating areas had been arranged, we ran through some of the orchestra repertoire and had our soundcheck – so far so good! As the final rehearsal began (with flag waving man jogging along the pavement) our generator ran out of fuel leaving us with no power, but ever the showmen, Kingswood continued like the true professionals that they are.
Torch delayed... ETA 14.42, Torch coming sooner ……ETA 14.35, Torch (well, you get the idea!)
The crowds began to appear – as did the umbrellas and wellingtons – and we began to entertain them with some of our tunes, including a sneak preview of our Kingswoodstock number ‘The Passenger’. We ended with a second rendition of ‘The Great Escape’ but were cut short as the procession was just around the corner.
All eyes on Teresa, the signal was given over the CB radio to begin. Nearly drowned out by several sponsorship buses blaring loud music, the orchestra fought back with loud accents and swirling crescendos. We reached the end of the piece and were talking about what we had seen when ‘here comes the torch’ came out of the CB radio.
So, we began again but this time with even more passion and volume. As we reached the Chorus part of the music, the torch bearer jogged past, and then lit the next torch before continuing on its way. As it took longer than expected, we had to return to an earlier section and play again to make sure there was accompaniment at all times (I think I may have been heard shouting ‘back to B’ across the tannoy – oops!)
Rain most definitely did not stop play for The Kingswood School Orchestra on this momentous occasion.
A massive, fantastic well done to all involved!