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Review of NMPAT Orchestra Spectacular at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

On my first Theatreversary I attended the Royal & Derngate for the Northamptonshire Music And Performing Arts Trusts (NMPAT) performance of An Orchestra Spectacular. It was my first encounter with a live orchestra of such a size, and its safe to say it was quite devastating on me as a night.

The evening was formed of three different orchestras, from the youth beginners (still quite brilliant), to the so called "training orchestra" and then finally after the interval the full "youth orchestra". The difference was noticeable between the three, but none were very short of excellent.

Many of the pieces were familiar to me and would very much be high on my choice of selections if I were to make a list of classical music. There were also too superb diversions from classical type with a medley of John Williams' (music god) Empire Strikes Back and video game theme from The Bounty Hunter. Our host of the evening assured us that computer game music is where much of the top notch music comes from now. As a grown-up game player, I can very much attain to this. There is truly some exceptional music in games now. The Bounty Hunter was unfamiliar to me, but performed by the "training" orchestra, it also sounded a wonderful piece.

The main bulk of the show was made up of traditional classical pieces and what pieces they were. Any opportunity to hear any of Holst's The Planets is fine by me. However this was the first time for me hearing it performed live, and it was simply incredible. The training orchestra performed Mars and Jupiter (for me the best two) and it struck me slightly dumbfounded. Their performance of Tchaikovsky's Waltz from Sleeping Beauty didn't make anything easier.

It's strange as although I listen occasionally to classical, I would never say I am a heavy consumer (it wasn't big in the eighties, where my musical tastes are generally trapped). However hearing this live was quite a different world. The second half of the show really left me dazzled beyond belief, to the point where something kept leaking from my eye. I had, lets call it, a moment. Thank heavens I was in the circle box with no one in front of me and spared any embarrassment from my waterlogged face.

I believe for whatever reason the show had an odd impact on me and ranks in the top five for experiences in the last year. There was no better way to celebrate my self titled Theatreversary, and for that I thank you R&D and especially the incredible orchestra of NMPAT. I get to do it all again on Sunday for the Wind Band Spectacular.


Performance reviewed: Sunday 1st March, 2015 at the Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton.

An Orchestra Spectacular was part of NMPAT's A Spring Festival Of Music. For more details visit their events page at 
http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/music/community/events1/pages/default.aspx

A Wind Band Spectacular is on Sunday 8th March, 2015 at 6:00pm, details can be found here: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Derngate/nmpatwind

Details of Royal & Derngate can be found by visiting their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

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