Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Orchestra braves gusts for Living Advent Day Five

A "YOUTHFUL" orchestra played the fifth night of the Henley Living Advent Calendar.

A "YOUTHFUL" orchestra played the fifth night of the Henley Living Advent Calendar.

Henley's Leander Club was the venue for the performance by the group made up of players older than 40.

The group played festive favourites including Dean Martin's Winter Wonderland, Baby It's Cold Outside and Jingle Bell Rock.

Louis Armstrong's A Wonderful World and Walking in the Air from the film The Snowman were also performed.

Between each song the audience of about 80 cheered and applauded.

The orchestra was set up in February Laura Reineke, of Henley Music School, who appealed for players of all abilities to take part in a fun fund-raiser for the music school.

They group stuck together and are now more than 40-strong.

Their sheet music was held in place with pegs for their performance due to gusty conditions.

All members of orchestra wore festive jumpers and headwear.

Stewart Lewins, who conducted the orchestra, said: "A total of six hour of rehersal time was put in to bring together what the guys did today.

"Two hours in September, October and November. I think they did a great job. They're all amateur musicians who come for the fun of it. "They put on a good show today."

The evening raised money for the Henley branch of the Royal British Legion and was introduced by John Green, chairman of the branch, and Richard Rodway.

Mr Rodway, chairman of the advent calendar, said: "I'm really pleased with tonight.

"We pictured and planned this six months ago on a sunny, still afternoon. We had the idea of positioning the orchestra over the façade.

"It looks fantastic but we just about got away with it because the wind held off enough. It's great to see it come to fruition.

"It was a fantastic audio and visual experience and the crowd seemed to enjoy. Hopefully everyone had a good time."

The living advent calendar, which is sponsored by Higgs Group publishers of the Henley Stsandard, sees 24 half-hour performances by theatre groups, dancers, singers and other acts each evening from December 1 until Christmas Eve.

Each act is kept a secret until their performance, like opening a door on an advent calendar, and is dedicated to one charity who publicise their work and hold a bucket collection.

Tonight's (Sunday's) performance is being held at Phyllis Court Club off Marlow Road.

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