Although Summer Music Week was over, we couldn’t let the opportunity for one final event to pass us by, and for the Dance Orchestra to have one final farewell. On the last day of term, General Harding’s Tomfoolery gathered on the cabaret-stage in the Gulbenkian Cafe to bid a fleet-footed farewell not just to the term, but to the academic year – and to an industrious few weeks of performing! (Was it really only on 31 May that the band won Keynestock and embarked on its six-gigs-in-twenty-one-days spree ?!)
Our usual bass-player was away that day – a tip o’ the straw hat to Jenn Morgan who stepped up to play, and performed as though she’d been a part of the band for ages.
Thanks to the Gulbenkian for hosting us, and to everyone who has been a part of the group this year.
Thanks to Matt Wilson for these stunning photos of General Harding’s Tomfoolery inspiring the audience to dance on the Wednesday of Summer Music Week. Comprising student musicians and run by your loyal correspondent, this vibrant twelve-piece dance orchestra rekindled the spirit of the 1930s, and members of the audience were inspired to leap to their feet during classic tunes such as In The Mood and Minnie the Moocher.
The group performs from original 1930s sheet music, a bequest to the department some years ago from the Ken Lewis Dance Orchestra; the archive of pieces, still tied with original string, brittle with age and use, is an astonishing memento of the era – it’s fantastic to be breathing new life into these venerable instrumental parts.
There was sunshine, song and some sophisticated swing yesterday afternoon, as General Harding’s Tomfoolery (or the University Dance Band, depending on how you might have heard of them!) played at the annual VE Day celebrations at St Christopher’s primary school in Canterbury.
Amidst a back-drop of a bunting-bedecked playground, patrolled by pupils and staff in period costume, the event included theatrical, musical and poetic contributions from the school pupils, after which the band launched into Tuexdo Junction and a vibrant set to entertain the children, staff, parents and visitors.
There’s more from the band this Friday lunchtime at 1.10pm, as they take to the Gulbenkian cafe cabaret stage for ‘One Last Dance;’ make sure you’re there!
For anyone who’s not come across #hidehidehi, General Harding’s Tomfoolery (aka the University Dance Orchestra!) has been quietly rising through the ranks; hot on the heels of winning the recent Keynestock 2014, the group played the Kent Union Summer Ball on Saturday night to great acclaim, and is set to bring a little of the 1930s to the Colyer-Fergusson Hall this Wednesday lunchtime.
The Golden Age will see the band re-creating the sounds of the era – there will be a space for dancing, and period costume is recommended! The gig is free and starts at 1.10pm, prepare to swing – bring your dancing-shoes.
Find out more about the group here, or Follow it on Twitter here, and check out its Facebook Page here. Find out what all the fuss is about this Wednesday at Summer Music Week.
Because it does. Doesn't it ? Blogging about extra-curricular musical life at the University of Kent.