The Lancashire Sinfonietta played their highest notes ever when their brass players took to a climbing wall at Lancaster University’s Sports Centre to perform an aerial concert in preparation for the Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes in July.
Fiona Sinclair, general manager of the Lancashire Sinfonietta, explained: “Lancashire County Council’s arts team asked us to be part of their programme of cultural events for Lytham during The Open and to giving visitors a few surprises.
“Some of our ideas based around the theme The Spirit of Adventure included playing from church towers and rooftops and we went to Lancaster University to test similar locations out.
“When our musicians heard about the climbing wall, they became determined to perform a concert from the cliff-face. We were inspired by the Olympics because sports and music do not often go together. It’s an amazing sense of achievement to have been able to perform while suspended up so high as we really didn’t know whether it was possible when we started.”
Despite none of the brass players liking heights they were taught to climb the wall a few hours beforehand and successfully scaled the climbing wall to play music including the James Bond theme tune and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.
Trumpet player Helen Quayle said: “It was hard to breathe while trying to play and keep yourself stable so I kept swinging around. We don’t like heights but we like a challenge.”
After the climb, tuba player Ewan Easton said: “I have never played while hanging around like that and my muscles were shaking from the effort, but it was absolutely fantastic. The tuba was attached by a rope and it was very heavy but I’ll relive this over and over again.”
The musicians performed their unusual gig as part of the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts’ Curate the Campus project (more at www.liveatlica.org).