Playing at the Paralympics real high note for East Coast Elite band
THE top youth band in North East Lincolnshire described performing at the Paralympics as the high note of their musical career.
Members of the East Coast Elite are still reeling after performing to a world-wide audience at the Olympic Park on Saturday.
They performed at the Games – which are set to be the most successful yet – after a surprise phone call from London 2012 organisers just over a week ago.
And while they may not have had much time to prepare, they managed to wow crowds from all over the world as they made their way through the park – with four performances outside the Veladrome.
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Director Tony Jex said the day was better than their performance at Disneyland Paris 14 years ago.
He said: "It was a fantastic day. At the end of each event around 7,000 people were coming out of the arenas and each time we played to them. We played all over the park.
"The sun was shining all day, there were thousands of people.
"Every member of the band was over the moon, and they were all very hyper on the way back. It was the biggest highlight since we played in Disneyland, Paris 14 years ago."
Over the weekend, 200,000 people attended the Paralympics and most would have seen the East Coast Elite marching and playing through the park.
Thirty-eight members of the band arrived in the capital – with only two unable to play due to holidays – and played a mixture of brass with percussion instruments, arriving at the park at noon and performing until 5pm.
Tony had been chasing the London 2012 organisers for a spot for two years but had lost hope when they heard nothing back from them. They then contacted him out of the blue explaining they had seen the band's delightful appearances at July's Olympic Torch Relay celebration event at Cleethorpes' Meridian Park and the following morning at the quayside on Grimsby Docks.
They performed their 2012 sports-themed programme – The Race – which features Queen's Bicycle Race, appropriately played outside the Velodrome.
Tony added: "The crowds were tremendous. They were clapping and cheering us on and the atmosphere was out of this world."