The joint concert featuring both the Band of the RAF Regiment and students from the Chiltern Music Academy (CMA) concert band on Saturday 23 February was a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The programme made effective use of the large screens at King’s Church Amersham and gave the audience quite a different experience to what they might have been expecting.
From the sophisticated elegance of the Orient Express, to high-octane scenes of the F35 Lightning II, the footage complimented and enhanced the Band’s musical performance.
The Band’s Director of Music, Flight Lieutenant Tom Rodda spoke about the use of multimedia in the concert:
“I was delighted with the success of some of the new concepts we exhibited: performing 4 pieces alongside timed videotape was a challenge that the Band rose to with aplomb, and the creation of the video and the composition of a new work, Concorde, shows the huge level of talent that we are privileged to work with across all ranks in RAF Music.”
The evening followed a jam-packed workshop with the young musicians on the Friday: a day at RAF Northolt involved full Band rehearsals led by Flight Lieutenant Rodda; sectional rehearsals, where the Band broke down into smaller groups of instruments to work on the particularly tricky musical excerpts ; an experience of marching and playing on the parade square and finally an opportunity to record music in a professional recording studio environment.
Senior Aircraftwoman Emily Jenner gave a presentation informing the students about life in the Band and in the RAF more generally, as well as describing her own career journey.
Flight Lieutenant Rodda also commented on working with CMA:
“It is always very exciting to join forces with the musicians of the future, to inspire and to share our professional expertise with them; performing alongside and coaching the very capable students from the Chiltern Music Academy keeps the Band on its toes as well!”
The joint items were Gonna Fly Now, which featured an excellent alto saxophone soloist from CMA, Philip Sparke’s evocative Orient Express, music from Band of Brothers in recognition of the 75th anniversary of D-Day later this year, and finally, an arrangement of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman which was particularly popular with the students.
Images by NHT Official Photographic Section.
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