Melodians Year 2018

Belarus in June

2018 was a very busy year but the highlight for the year was undoubtedly a visit to a new country for the Melodians – Belarus.  For those that don’t know it is a small country in Eastern Europe between Poland and Russia.  The Melodians were invited for 5 days from the 13th to the 17th June.  The welcome in Belarus was amazing and we were reliably informed that we were the first Steel Band to travel there.

We had a very busy schedule organised for us starting with a performance at the British Embassy for the Queen’s Birthday Party.  It was a great event and we were delighted that a lot of the guests at the party took to the dance floor to dance while we played.

On the next day we took part in a Jazz Jam session with a local Jazz Group called VIP Jazz. We also did a short performance at the Music Academy and then had a workshop with any daring musicians who were interested in trying their hand at playing ‘Pan’. Here is a recording of the result after 30 minutes of learning to ‘Play Pan’ – ‘The Saints’:

The last performance was the ‘Great British Festival’, a free public event in the central square in Minsk with an audience of thousands. This is one of the tunes that we performed, Havana, arranged by Azaria Francis.

Other Engagements and Highlights

The Melodians had a very busy year with a number of high profile engagements. Unfortunately, although they had planned to have their annual concert in December, due to other engagements clashing they had to cancel it. In 2019 their annual concert will definitely be back on their list of engagements. Here is a full list of the 2018 engagements.

DATE EVENT/VENUE SIZE
Tuesday 20th February London Fashion Week
Isa Arfen Cat Walk
Orchestra
Thursday 19th April British Foreign Secretary
Conference & Dinner
9 players
Friday 11th May BT Sport Relief Ball
Grosvenor House Hotel
7 players
Sunday 10th June Family Day
Wimbledon
Orchestra
Tuesday 12th June British Foreign Secretary Garden Party
Lancaster House
8 players
Wednesday 13th –
Sun 17th June
Belarus:
Queen’s Birthday Party at the British Embassy
Jazz Jam session with VIP Jazz
Performance and workshop at the Music Academy
Great British Festival
9 players
Saturday 7th July Summer Fair
Henry Cavendish School
Orchestra
Saturday 7th July Art Night 2018
Battersea – See Projects Page for details
Orchestra
Sunday 26th August Wedding 7 players
Monday 15th October High Commissioners Banquet
The Guildhall
7/8 players
Saturday 24th November Jeremy Deller recording of Hallelujah for Desert Island Discs 16 players
Monday 17th December BT Christmas Concert Pre-show party
Royal Albert Hall
9 players

Some Photos From Melodians’ year 2018

With Boris Johnson at Lancaster House

At the Isa Arfen Cat Walk for London Fashion Week in February 2018

The Cat Walk ends

 

 

Playing in the garden of the British Embassy in Minsk

Some of the guests enjoyed dancing to the music.

Jeremy Deller and the Melodians recording Hallelujah for Desert Island Discs in 2019