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Our first ever May Day Cabaret was a brand new innovation and a roaring success.
Styles ranging from swing, jazz, orchestra and indie rock all had to share the same bill, so a whole new approach was needed to bring this to life. The evening began with refreshments in the May Hall foyer, accompanied by guitarists Phoebe Badcock and Georgia Hammond, the Derwent string quartet and the smooth jazz piano of James Calder. The May Hall itself was transformed for the event with tables, candles, low lighting and three stages set for different types of musical acts. There was a relaxed cabaret ambience, with wine and snacks at the audience’s tables throughout the evening.
The programme had a light and popular theme: film music was presented on the main stage with the Philharmonic Orchestra offering music from Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, and Cyclone Wind Band performing music from The Magnificent Seven. The String Orchestra also played contemporary pieces including a blues for strings. Two of our exciting percussion ensembles, Syncopated Stix and Paradiddles played on the second stage, together with the Sassy Sax ensemble. The third stage was mainly for our rock acts, The Suburbs and Field Studies, as well as individual items from Joe Goodhead and Kasper Sandstrom. The main stage was also home to our Jazz Band, who performed the standards Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Black Satin, as well as our headline act, the Swing Band. The evening ended with the Swing Band’s set of seven pieces, ranging from the theme to Hawaii Five-O to On Broadway and Tuxedo Junction.
The evening was such a popular success it seems certain to return again next year. The tickets were taken up quickly and the hall was full so do watch out for the ticket announcement next time.