So, that was the gig that was. As part of playing in the Harrogate Music Centre Gala Concert, Ukuleles played a 10 minute set. The Gala Concert is a biennial concert showcasing each ensemble in Music Centre, and generally runs for about 2 hours (including breaks). It pays testimony to the quality of music teaching in Harrogate that we could sell and seat best part of 700 people in an 800 person venue. The Royal Hall is a fantastic venue, and we had brilliant tech support on the night from the venue events team. We need to also pay thanks to the tireless parents association who organised, sold tickets, fund-raised, managed the door, supported the staff, generally were everywhere at once being extremely capable and were in themselves supported by their crew from the senior ensembles.
So, to our set-list. We struck a delicate balance between what are foot-tappers that people like to hear, and what are interesting pieces that are challenging and fun for the group to play, but which are not necessarily main-stream pieces that the audience would be familiar with. In the end we went with:
- Purple Haze (Hendricks) with the Meade/Kazoo variation
- Tico Tico (Zequinha de Abreu)
- Blame it on me (George Ezra)
Applause was genuinely loud, which was an amazing surprise and got the group buzzing. Then as part of the concert finale, we played as part of the larger orchestral arrangement of One Day Like This (Elbow, Arr. Garvey, Cond. Price) which started out gentle, then through multiple verses layered in parts of the orchestra, and was joined for the repeating anthemic chorus with a 150 strong choir. At the end, we had the ENTIRE ROYAL HALL on their feet, singing, supporting, dancing and applauding, including an encore.
That was the night that was.