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.
|Tuesday 20th February||London Fashion Week
Isa Arfen Cat Walk
|Thursday 19th April||British Foreign Secretary
Conference & Dinner
|Friday 11th May||BT Sport Relief Ball
Grosvenor House Hotel
|Sunday 10th June||Family Day
|Tuesday 12th June||British Foreign Secretary Garden Party
|Wednesday 13th –
Sun 17th June
Queen’s Birthday Party at the British Embassy
Jazz Jam session with VIP Jazz
Performance and workshop at the Music Academy
Great British Festival
|Saturday 7th July||Summer Fair
Henry Cavendish School
|Saturday 7th July||Art Night 2018
Battersea – See Projects Page for details
|Sunday 26th August||Wedding||7 players|
|Monday 15th October||High Commissioners Banquet
|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
Some Photos From Melodians’ year 2018