The Littlehampton-based Edwin James Festival Orchestra got the New Year off to a fine start with their “Name that Tune” concert held in St. James Church, Littlehampton.

Outside the church the thunder roared, but inside there was just thunderous applause for this accomplished thirty-four piece ensemble, under the direction of conductor, James Rushman.

Great fun was had by the large audience as they tried to identify tunes cleverly hidden amongst a Fantasia of Auld Lang Syne. Also, there was a lot of head scratching trying to name the theme tunes to famous Hollywood films, plus various Christmas Carols which were all interwoven in intricate musical arrangements.

For the second half of the concert, the audience could relax and just enjoy the music, played with great skill and enthusiasm. Everyone felt like dancing in the aisles to the Skaters and Blue Danube Waltzes, and the Spanish Gypsy Dance. Whilst the Clog Dance certainly set feet a-tapping. A selection of tunes from Star Trek movies made the rafters ring, as did The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. In contrast the orchestra performed the beautiful and well known dying swan scene from Swan Lake.

Surprise of the show was the presentation of a large birthday cake, in the shape of a keyboard, to Musical Director James Rushman, which he shared with everyone present.

This was a truly memorable concert which hopefully will be repeated at a future date. Littlehampton is so lucky to have this talented orchestra in their midst. The next concert is on Good Friday, March 25th, 7.30 p.m. when Rutter’s Mass of the Children will be performed, plus Karl Jenkins Requiem. Tickets, £8, are available from 01243 582330’

Gill Kelly

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