Even before our journey through two millennia of musical time travel, the younger members of the audience were invited onstage to get involved and become part of the show.
The Travelling by Tuba pair; Chris Cranham on tuba and Stewart Death on piano, put on a hugely interactive and energetic performance including everything from classical to jazz. Our musical voyage explored almost every musical genre, starting with Fanfare for the Common Man, the Girl from Ipanema and the Entertainer and finishing up with Star Wars.
The audience was enthralled by the fun facts and the snippets of history, accompanied by great props. We all learned new things about a range of instruments up to 2,000 years old – the snail-like Roman Cornu which centurions took into battle with them and the wonderfully ornate Chinese dragon trumpet. One of the highlights of the show was watching a young child of no more than three managing to get a great sound out of the alpine horn.
There were some stand out performances from these two virtuoso musicians. The Flight of the Bumblebee on the tuba will stay with me forever – all 1121 notes of it, as well as the sight of Cranham dancing both the CanCan and the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy while playing them on the tuba.
The music was interspersed with plenty of opportunities for the children in the audience to get on stage and really get some hands-on experience, including a child who was invited to actually get inside the tuba. Adults too got up close to the action as the pair frequently wandered around the auditorium playing their instruments up close.
There were at least two three tuba players in the room during the performance and thanks to the enthusiasm circulating in the air during this hour-long show, there are sure to be more soon.