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Italy Music Tour - 19th July

19 Jul 2013

Friday

There is an Italian legend that the Jewish patriarch Noah lived in Italy for thirty years after the Great Flood, and one of his descendants, Crano, liked the hill regions and fertile soils of Tuscany so much that he founded the city of Cortona there.

For Davenant Foundation School's first concert of Italy 2013, in Cortona, the floods did not come up, but the rains certainly came down. Mr Hounslow commented, as staff and students flitted uncertainly in and out of cover, that in all of his years co-ordinating music tours with previous Head of Music, John Powell MBE, they had never had to deal with rain. The pressure was on Mrs Bishop - and Davenant's army of musical students - to deliver in the deluge. This they did in some style.

Hallmarked by steep inclines, Renaissance architecture, and many places of Roman Catholic worship, Cortona is vibrant without being populous, and it was evident that the tourist eateries were unprepared for the custom of nearly 200 of Davenant's finest. However, students managed to find pizzerias (and gelaterias) at which to while away the hour or so before the concert was due to start, where they enjoyed the Italian cuisine with one eye on the skyline. As dark clouds rumbled overhead, Head Technician Andy Keel had to make judicious use of his stage crew team to assemble, dissemble, shelter, then assemble again, all of the electrical equipment needed for the performers, as well as the drum kit. The risk was that if equipment and instruments got wet, major problems could have been created for the rest of the tour.

Mrs Bishop and Mr Taylor decided that the show would go on, even under the storm threat. And so, on the balcony of one of the pizzerias that our year 9 and 12 girls had been eating at, the school choir began the first concert of the tour. Gaining confidence and energy as they went, they sang through Fly Me To The Moon, the Lion King medley, and Coldplay's Viva La Vida before a set from the swing band. The bold brass of the swingers drew even more umbrella-toting crowds to watch, and soon there were Italians (along with Mrs Enright) dancing along to the Hawaii 5-0 theme and Calvin Harris' I'm Not Alone, the latter of which featured Hugo Yamaguchi on vocals. A shorter set - made necessary by the weather - finished with the Sixth Form Girls' Choir, conducted by leaving year 13 student Alice Phillips. They sang three tunes, rounding off the proceedings with a Lady Gaga medley. Satisfied staff, parents, Cortonans, and one limping three-legged dog (!) departed the square thoroughly entertained, while the students trooped back down the hill to the coaches.

Tomorrow's concert, in Perugia, is also scheduled to receive rain, so we'll be praying that it's held off until we've performed!

Thanks for following the blog, and do tweet us @DFSPerfArts with your messages of goodwill - we'll relay them to the students!

 
 
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