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A couple pics from our Kings Lynn concert last Saturday, which was part of the Kings Lynn festival. Read the local paper’s review of the concert here.

USA. Three little letters that fill any orchestra’s planning department monkeys with dread. For the players this means a nice little jaunt to see our American cousins, perhaps some cricket in Central Park (using period timp legs for stumps – it has been done!), or a chance for a cheeky holiday, but the process for getting them all there is a nightmare.Visa Forms

The first part of the process is getting the ‘petition’ and we do this about six months before the trip. We have to submit everyone’s details (passport details, date of birth, nationality, address, place of birth, inside leg measurement…) to the concert hall who submit them to the federal bureau for something-or-other who submit them to the department for making sure that no-one dodgy is let into the land of the free. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Wednesday OAE friends gathered together for a Baroque dancing session. Tutor Nicola Gaines led us through the basic steps of Baroque dance, and we were accompanied by a quartet of OAE players, performing music by Handel and Purcell and also taking a solo spot later in the evening while we all had a rest and a drink!

It seems a long time ago now, but you may recall we were in the middle of a heatwave last week, which was the only problem as most of us were worn out before we had even started! But there’s no denying that a good time was had by all. Here are a few pics from the event.

Theresa Traynor, Development Officer

Our new 2009-2010 brochure just came out (you can read a ‘making-of’ article here), and in case you can’t wait to get your hands

New brochure

New brochure

on a physical copy we have set up a neat ‘virtual’ version on our website – click here to view it. I would embed it here but I have to admit I don’t know how…

William Norris, Marketing Director

Being a member of the projects team, I have a lot to do with the intricacies of planning all of our concerts and tours, but on Monday afternoon Ceri (our Projects Manager), Philippa (the Orchestra Manager) and I headed off to a meeting with the BBC about our televised Prom on 25th August with Sir Roger Norrington and it all became clear (as mud!) at just how much more complicated things can be when you add a TV broadcast into the mix.Megan outside Television Centre

It was my first time to White City (and to within spitting distance of the infamous Westfield shopping centre) and the famous television centre (hence the cheesy photo!). The Proms meeting was actually just down the road, so no celeb spotting for us, but instead we were greeted by a panel of about 15 members of the Proms team including everyone from lighting and sound to make up. The Sixteen were just finishing up their meeting when we arrived as this was part of two days of back to back meetings to discuss all of the logistics for the televised Proms.

Our programme is particularly complicated as we have four different orchestral set ups, a soloist to fit in, a harpsichord to tune and a change of pitch. We discussed the logistics of how to fit the TV cameras in around the orchestra, the lighting for the Orchestra, the amount of time it would take to reset the orchestra between pieces and also for the conductor to take his bow and the for the applause at the end as all of this has to be factored into the BBC’s scheduling times. There are also other Proms and Prom rehearsals for that day with some of their related equipment needing to be left on stage, and not to forget the TV crew’s lunch times!

It looks set to be a fantastic concert and it was fascinating to get a glimpse into the planning that goes into the TV side of things. We might have ended up having a quick peek in the shopping centre afterwards too…!

A sunny June afternoon managing an OAE concert in the Kent countryside?  Or so I thought…  Blazing, humid sunshine accompanied the majority of the car journey down to beautiful Boughton Aluph church near Ashford in Kent last Saturday for the OAE’s appearance at the Stour Music Festival, where one of our OAE Leaders Kati Debretzeni was directing a small programme of Italian Baroque music.  As the Church was not in Boughton Aluph and more in the middle of nowhere (which I’ve now discovered was due to worry about the spread of the Plague) the festival organisers had a well thought out audience and artist hospitality.  Two huge Marquees (and deluxe portaloos) were erected in the neighbouring fields for the duration of the festival – with one for sole use of the artists, and filled with lots of yummy home made food which more than filled our growling stomachs in-between the afternoon rehearsal and concert – thank you Stour Music Festival and all the cooks for providing such a feast.  Can I have that summer pudding recipe please??

Who would have guessed that the second the rehearsal started the heavens would have opened, (I think most of June’s rainfall then fell in the next 3 hours), and that the roof would start to drip.  Cue Ceri running around looking for buckets, a mop and a golf umbrella.  Luckily when the rain stopped the dripping stopped too, and with a fine blue sky for the evening concert the only sounds to be heard was the superb playing of the OAE and the fine singing of Lorna Anderson.

Concerts in non-concert Hall set-ups always prove to be a challenge on the set-up front, and I did have a little chuckle to myself to see that there was a Policeman guarding the entrance.

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager

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