Blur’s Damon Albarn allows Colchester pupils to perform his songs at Schools Prom

Blur’s Damon Albarn allows Colchester pupils to perform his songs

Strung together – the violins playing during the prom concert

Keeping rhythm – conductor Nigel Hildreth, who arranged the Blur songs for the concert, at the podium

Reed music – the prom orchestra’s saxophonists

Brassy sounds – members of the orchestra’s horn section

First published in News by

SONGS by some of Colchester’s favourite sons were performed by hundreds of talented young musicians.

Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur and creator of Gorillaz, gave his blessing to the adaptation of three of his songs at the tenth annual Schools Prom Concert.

A capacity crowd at the Charter Hall, in Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, watched 500 young musicians perform a finale of End of a Century, the Universal and Parklife.

The hit songs had been specially adapted by conductor Nigel Hildreth, who is head of performing arts at the sixth form college and taught Albarn and fellow Blur member Graham Coxon when they were at the Stanway school.

Mr Hildreth said the evening, in association with Colchester Colne Round Table, had gone very well.

He added: “I know Damon is very happy the band’s music is being used for this prestigious event. It was one of the best we’ve had so far and it was a wonderful final piece. The audience thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Students from Colchester Royal Grammar School, Colchester County High School, the sixth form college, Manningtree High School, the Gilberd School, Stanway School, St Helena, St Benedict’s, Philip Morant and Sir Charles Lucas Arts College all performed ten-minute slots before joining together for the finale.

They performed numbers ranging from the O Fortuna, the most famous movement of Carmina Burana, to Soul Bossa Nova, most famously used in the first Austin Powers movie, and a performance of Frank Sinatra’s Mack the Knife on ukuleles.

Blur reformed earlier this year and are performing in concerts and festivals this summer. A warm-up performance at a Colchester venue has been rumoured.

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