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OAE photographer Joe Plommer appears to be able to capture a moment with his camera and present it in entirely different way from the way my memory recalls it now (above). He’s made me appear relaxed. I was far from it. And there were moments when I looked at Maggie (right) and was certain she probably wondered what the hell I was saying.

That’ll be the internal dialogue. I bet you.

Maybe it was the drink. Between you and me, I’d had a glass of red wine before arriving at the Star of Kings pub to ‘compere’ the OAE’s inaugural Mini Night Shift concert. I had a strong black coffee while I waited for the rehearsal to finish, and then a beer before my first moment on stage delivering the very important message: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the gig will start in ten minutes time.”

The truth is that I’ve always rather fancied doing this line of work. As I’ve said before, Alistair Appleton makes it look really easy. Surely, if I try and cultivate a similar image that should do the trick, shouldn’t it?

That was my thinking selecting the checked shirt I received the day before on my birthday. But by the time approximately 200 people had packed into the pub and the band had marked out their territory on stage, I quickly began to realise this was going to be a good deal more difficult than standing in front of a camera and waxing lyrical about the best way to listen to Beethoven 9.

What represented the massive learning curve for me in what amounted to my first stint behind the microphone was to what extent the presenter is incidental to events on stage. And in an intimate space like the Star of Kings that was a point which became even more important, not least because Matthew Truscott, Maggie Faultless and Robin Michael are all such dab hands at introducing the music anyway. Matthew especially seems more than happy to whip up the crowd into a mild frenzy (the line about ‘wives always end up killing their husbands’ certainly resulted in a discernible collective intake of breath). Read the rest of this entry »

So below we posted some rather scary unofficial pictures from the last Night Shift, which mainly seemed to consist of people screaming at the camera. Now we can post some other, perhaps more beautiful, official pictures, taken by Joe Plommer. The full set can be viewed here. The Night Shift returns on 24 June as part of the Spitalfields Music Summer Festival.

We’ve just had the films developed from our disposable cameras that we dotted around the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer at the last Night Shift event on 4 May.  Here’s a few choice ones for you:

For the full set, you can visit our Flickr page where you can also find the official pics, taken by Joe Plommer.

And just a quick reminder that you don’t have long to wait until our next Night Shift- it’s making its debut at the Village Underground, in the heart of Shoreditch on 24 June…more details on our Night Shift website.

At the last Night Shift we asked the audience to tell us how the concert made them feel by the simple method of handing out sheets of A3 paper and fat pens. The idea was that everyone would then be photographed with their sheet – unfortunately the photography part of the idea didn’t quite go to plan, and we ended up with a large pile of sheets handed in to us at our desk – but we did get *some* people with their comments. Here’s a selection – you can view all of them on our Flickr page. All pics are by Joe Plommer.

Tonight made me feel…

Here’s a selection of pics from our last Night Shift event which was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 25 May. Support for the evening came from Firefly, while the main concert featured the Orchestra playing Beethoven’s Symphony 6, with our Melgaard Young Conductor Eduardo Portal at the helm, making his public debut with us. We wrapped things up with a set from DJ Nick Luscombe. We’ll have more pics and our Night Shift ‘Pod Idol’ competition on here very soon, and if you’re a Night Shift fan keep an eye on the website as we will be announcing our special summer event in the next few weeks. All pics here are by Joe Plommer, and you can view the full gallery of pics here.

Hard to believe it was a whole 2 weeks ago now, but we’ve just received the pictures from our Night Shift at the Roundhouse. Here are some of our favourites, but you can view the whole set here at the Night Shift Flickr page. All pics taken by Joe Plommer.

We had a fantastic Night Shift event back on 5 December with Marin Alsop. Marin was on top form, and led an entertaining tour through Mozart’s Symphony 40, conducting great performances of each movement and engaging in some banter with presenter Alistair Appleton inbetween! Afterwards, despite having had an afternoon rehearsal and 7pm concert, as well as the Night Shift, Marin gamely suggested a post show Q+A which proved to be fascinating. My favourite answer from Marin was when someone asked her about how it was being a female in a male dominated profession. Marin recounted a tale from her first appearance at La Scala in Milan, where she was the first woman ever to conduct . At the Press conference the very first question was ‘So do you cook’?

Anyway, here are a selection of pictures from the evening, all taken by Joe Plommer.
View the complete set of official pics here, or the audience pics (taken on disposable cameras we gave out) here.

Our next Night Shift is at the Roundhouse on 29 January.

William Norris, Marketing Director

Here are a few pictures of our Principal Trombonist Sue Addison with Elgar’s orginal trombine which will have its first performance in a concert since Elgar’s death tomorrow evening at the Royal Festival Hall. All pics by Joe Plommer.

Here are a few pics from the last Night Shift event on 20 May by Joe Plommer. Our next Night Shift will be on 15 October – details announced duing August.

The other week we had one of our Night Shift concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. These are always ‘interesting’ evenings for both Orchestra and staff. The Orchestra had flown back from the States the previous day, so were pretty jetlagged and rather tired. For staff, it’s always a busy

Night Shift audience

Night Shift audience

evening both backstage and front of house. It’s getting easier as we do more of them – but there are always so many things to think of , and its hectic, not least because not only do we have a 10pm Night Shift, but also a 7pm ‘regular’ concert as well! Anyway, it all went smoothly and we had a great audience – over 600 people, which is our biggest yet in the Queen Elizabeth Hall for a Night Shift. We also had some great feedback, which I hope the writers won’t mind me posting here.

“loved it! thank you :)”

“Just wanted to say I was at last nights Nightshift and I absolutely loved it, was such a warm and friendly atmosphere, will be attending every one from now on, and the Cello Singer before the gig she was amazing also, thanks for a great night.”

We were also mentioned on this blog and our regular photographer Joe Plommer has posted some more pictures on his blog as well.

William Norris, Marketing Director

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