Monday, 21 February 2011

East Steel doing Christmas in the New Year

Now then Debs, is this a letter to Carriacou or to Huddersfield?

Who knows? All I do know is that this is still a letter from Hyde Park Leeds where education campaigning is still vying with steel pan teaching for pride of place in my life! Thankfully Foxwood band member, Bex, now has a proper job as a pan teacher [besides her real proper job, that is], so I can go to governors' and union meetings without letting my music centre classes down.
Picture left: Anne and Lynn tying up the banner, and making sure it's straight.

Picture below: Alli and Bex bringing the pans down from the pan store.

In January YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic reran the Town Hall Christmas Concert. Here all the Art competition prize-winners collected their trophies, and Mavis made the people who had come to watch, now in the familiar surroundings of the wonderful West Park Centre, do a bit of audience participation with the Seven Days of Christmas. I loved the cavalier way she cut this song down from twelve to seven. It was ace. Below: Set up and waiting to play:

We, at East Steel were a bit surprised to find that we were not just a couple of guest spots, but also, at times, it seemed, part of the resident band. What a hoot. We battered our way through carol after carol, and several things less Yuletide seasonal. In fact when the Lord Mator got up to make his speech I asked him what key he would make it in, so we were ready.

This is the gig when we introduced Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man to our repertoire. Below: East Steel playing at last.

Players for this concert were myself, Bex and Natalie as leader-players [running between cellos, bass and soprano, Nat on kit]. Karen, Alli on soprano pans, Ruth, Lynn, Cathy, Joyce on single seconds, Karen also on cellos, and Judy on single guitar. Sue. Diane, Irene, Gail, Mavis and all the rest of the YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic committee organised the event, and resident wind band included Joanna and Kate. And it all took place in YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic's home building, the wonderful, versatile and unassuming West Park Centre, which also puts a roof over the heads of the Travellers Education Unit, the National Union of Teachers Office, the Irish Art Group and of course, Leeds ArtForms and most of its wonderful central youth bands. And rents out rooms for a whole load more.

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