Sunday, 6 December 2015

East Steel at YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic Town Hall Concert

art display
Yo ho ho
This year, not only is East Steel playing the YSM concert, but I have taken over co-ordinating the whole event from Sue, so the stress levels are higher than usual. Anyway this blog is about the steelband, so readers are spared any unnecessary details. Well maybe a couple. Here they are:
art display
rehearsing Sleigh Ride in Aberford Village Hall
art competition winners
Off By heart
On the day before the concert I assisted the team displaying the art competition winners. This marathon job involved pins, ribbons, display boards and backache. We were Mavis Sue S, Anne and Douglas, Diane C, Chloe and myself.

pan rehearsing with OBH
This also involved negotiating with Eric, Mike and team to get some maximum noticeboards plus I have donated to the Town Hall the one from West Park that has been cluttering up the City pan room for years. [I was only waiting for a good home, honest!].
dressing room stuff
On the Friday a week before, I joined Mavis at West Park to try out the numbers that East Steel would accompany Off By Heart on. On the Sunday before Bex and I hit Aberford Town Hall in order to do our joint Sleigh Ride in B flat. As you do if you have shared a stage for a decade with the lovely Yorkshire Post Band [conductor- Rob, cracking whip- Diane C2] who plays the same top tune. [Although I am sure that  someone once said we didn't use the note of B flat!]

On the day Rick takes me Millie and a large set of steelpans down to Leeds Town Hall.  Millie, in real life, a Sparrow, spends all day as the most wonderful technical support - this must be noted.

NWSILC rehearse Nativity
In the afternoon, Margaret and the crew brought the NW SILC nativity to rehearse.  They went through their paces four times until they were all familiar with what they had to do. And I must say both the rehearsal and the actual performance were very professional. Unfortunately I can't show too many [well hardly any]photos without permissions.
On the night the choirs are, besides OBH [led by Mavis and Pat], Young Accord and One Accord, [led by Sophie and Clare], the Minster singers [led by Simon][including Jan who transformed my educational life 30 years ago], Off the Cuff [led by Diane P; they are a mixed bag of ArtForms music teachers who teach children with Additional Needs all year round, plus flautist, Philip].
I have not name-checked everyone who contributed to the organising of or performing at this event, but I do need to name and credit Irene Peace who started these concerts off, on the grounds that children with additional needs deserved the best, the best of everything, and, if that means a concert in Leeds, it must be at Leeds Town Hall. And so it still is, 32 years later.
In the evening we have ALL our regular players [see Staveley's pic above]: me, Bex, Vicky S, Wanda, Lynn, Kirsty, Pippa, Anne, Trish, Joyce, Wendy, Vicky R, Sophie, Yi Bai, Maddy, and when Yi Bai sprints off to work, Bart finds himself crossing the stage for Break of Day and Diwali.

Bart joins us after Yi Bai heads off to work

Foxwood at Rosebank Millennium Green Street Party

So it's the Sunday the clocks go back and when Bassa Bassa asked for us to play a bit earlier so as not packing away in the dark, it was a good request.
However we left them packing away in the dark, even playing in the dark.
Before that I did a small drumming workshop with some local kids
and with Leah and family, Leah and family actually carried most of the gear across the road as the earlier start information bypassed most of the band. Sharing the bigger drums was a concept alien to some of the kids, and sharing too easily something the adults were trying on!
Ifty was there too, fresh from the camps of Calais, with his kids. His kids shared okay and did percussion later with Foxwood for a couple of tunes.
This was another street party from Hyde Park Source on Rosebank Millennium Green. We were me, Bex, Vicky, Fehmina, Daisy, Georgia, Charlotte, Yi Bai. We played on the pavement backed up against wall and hedge. Acoustically great.