Friday, 21 August 2009

The Chairman Plays at the Royal Albert Hall

This week, the Chairman was one of the thousand ukulele players to descend upon the Royal Albert Hall, for Prom 45 of the BBC Proms. The Proms are a huge, summer-long, festival of music (mostly classical) but this Tuesday, the Royal Albert Hall hosted the eight-strong Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Packed out to an audience of six thousand, the "Orchestra" sung and strummed their way through over an hour of music, ranging from "Teenage Dirtbag" to the "Ride of the Valkyries". The climax of the evening was when the audience were invited to participate in an "arrangement of a part of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for one thousand and eight ukuleles." The result was a unexpectedly gentle rendition of Ode to Joy, with the thousand ukuleles failing to drown out the eight amplified ones on stage. It was very surreal.

The concert ended with a banging of ukuleles and stamping of feet, as the roaring audience demanded an encore. Which was what they got, in the form of that classic Yorkshire "folk-song", Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. Sung in a jazzy style by the Orchestra's musical director, George Hinchcliffe, who hails from the "Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire."

1 comment:

  1. please could you replace the picture with one of the concert from the proms website, thanks, and who is he anyway?