12th June 2023
The Bardi Wind Orchestra rounded off their 30th anniversary season with their annual charity gala concert at De Montfort Hall on Sunday, this year fundraising in aid of the RNLI.
Well known in recent times from the BBCs programme ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was the chosen charity for the Bardi Wind Orchestra’s annual charity gala in association with the Oadby and Wigston Lions Club. The charity receives no government funding but for almost 200 years has been saving lives from water in the most challenging conditions. Conductor David Calow chose a range of music appropriate to the invaluable work of the RNLI volunteers with the title ‘Heroes! Action and adventure from the Movies’.
The BWO were joined by vocal soloists David Morris and Rebecca Temple who featured in each half and the programme was compered adeptly by Colin Blackler with informative introductions to each piece (allowing the players to get their collective breath back). After the interval Colin had the opportunity to interview RNLI volunteers Brad and Alex who had travelled all the way from RNLI Skegness to be at the event. On stage, on probably the hottest afternoon of the summer so far, volunteer Alex wore his RNLI yellow crew equipment, of which the life jacket on it’s own weighed more than a heavy weekly shop. Launch authority Brad told us that he had come off a volunteer shift at 6am that morning!
The programme for the concert included appropriate titles such as The Magnificent Seven, Band of Brothers, the Superman March and The Great Escape but perhaps the most appropriate piece had to be The Padstow Lifeboat, a march by English composer Malcolm Arnold complete with fog horn effects (thanks to a very good imitation by BWO lower brass). Scene stealer for this number was David Calow who strode on to the stage and conducted in a fetching pair of borrowed bright yellow RNLI wellies! The only thing missing was a lifeboat and even one of those (well, a model) was parked outside De Montfort Hall in the sunshine. Another great BWO concert to launch summer for the enthusiastic audience.