It’s the National Concert Hall but not as we know it!
A “Space Odyssey” concert entertained an audience young and old at the National Concert Hall in Dublin last Saturday, 24th September.
The John Field room was transformed into a stellar chamber. Planets hung from the ceiling, blending with the Georgian features of the room. Green, red and blue lighting contributed to the outer-space experience.
The concert opened with a warm-up, sing-along song “Space is the place” children and grown-ups were encouraged to sing along.
Soft cushions and fleece blankets were laid out in front of the stage to facilitate younger members of the audience. Socks and shoes were thrown off as children danced and sang. The atmosphere was relaxed, with only one rule; “no stage invasion”. The band delicately requested that parents don’t allow children to climb onto the stage.
The ECO band was made up of five musicians, including Jupiter- Joe and Big-Bang Brendan. The drum kit had a silvery covering which sparkled against the cosmic lighting in the room.
The only thing missing was a conductor and junior members of the audience were invited to take-up this important role. There were giggles and chuckles as children raised their hands and lowered them to control the volume of the music.
After a jazzy rendition of Twinkle-Twinkle little star the band moved on to some David Bowie inspired music. The “Starman” was waiting in the sky and children bobbed along as if they were “Walking on the moon”.
Towards the end of the show instruments were distributed and everyone made music together.
ECO, the Education, Community and Outreach program was launched in 2015. The aim of the initiative is to engage people of different backgrounds and ages with music. By making music interactive and fun the interest and appreciation of audiences are stimulated.
The ECO band will perform again on October 31st at the National Concert Hall when a Halloween themed event promises to frighten and fascinate in equal measure.
Written by Joyce Rubotham. You can follow her on twitter @seoighee