Grand Union Orchestra, King's Lynn

A carnival atmosphere engulfed King's Lynn Festival when the universal language of music united instrumentalists from all over the world with West Norfolk community groups.

By ALISON CROOSE

A carnival atmosphere engulfed King's Lynn Festival when the universal language of music united instrumentalists from all over the world with West Norfolk community groups.

It was a toe-tapping, hand-clapping evening with the Grand Union Orchestra which filled King's Lynn Corn Exchange with the exciting, pulsating sounds of the show, entitled Doctor Carnival. More than 70 musicians and singers clearly had a great time, as did the very large audience.

The project, led by the orchestra's founder Tony Haynes and co-ordinated by Norfolk Music Works, sought to fuse the highly professional musicianship of the orchestra with the talents of amateur bands and singers through a series of workshops and rehearsals. Lynn Samba Band, Centre Stage Swing Band and In Vocal Mode were among the groups involved.

It was a major logistical exercise – but the sight and sound of dozens of happy musicians and singers processing round the auditorium and filling the stage with an extravaganza of colour and music from all corners of the world was proof enough that this was a success story.

It was noisy – too noisy for some – but that is the nature of carnival and the ear-splitting volume has to be balanced against the value to participants, particularly young people involved, for whom it was undoubtedly a memorable learning experience.

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