From 23rd October 2018 to 30th November 2018, we made the journey from a group of strangers to a fully fledged performing orchestra - that's just 6 weeks' practice!
The first rehearsal...
When Tony (keyboard) and Ed (musical director) decided to form an orchestra, they didn't know what to expect. So it must have been really pleasing to see around fourteen people show up for the first rehearsal.
Everyone was a bit nervous - we were nearly all strangers - and we had quite a broad range of experience within the group. It was a bit like the first day at school!
We'd had the music to practice for about a month beforehand so it was really exciting to go from practicing at home alone to playing with a room full of about fourteen other musicians - you could see the excitement on Ed's face when he heard the first bars of his arrangements being played back to him by a group of strangers.
Practice, practice, practice
You could really hear the sound develop each week as we started to get more confidence in ourselves and in each other.
After a few weeks we made plans to play at the monthly open mic event at St Michael's church in the centre of Bath. The performance would be right in the middle of town at the busiest time of year - Bath Christmas Market - so there would be plenty of people around to come and see us play.
Better keep practising!
By 30th November we had prepared four of our seven pieces well enough to play in public. Remember, this was a group of people who mostly has no experience in public performance so it felt like quite a big deal...
But we pulled it off :-)
- Happy (Pharrell Williams)
- Naima (John Coltrane)
- Cars (Gary Numan)
- I Shot The Sheriff (Bob Marley and the Wailers)