Chichester’s very own Sleepy Lagoon Orchestra in action!

Pete Faint
Pete Faint

Chichester’s The Sleepy Lagoon Orchestra offers a tribute to Jack Hylton’s 1930s swing orchestra with Pete Faint.

Simon Growcott, orchestral manager at the University of Chichester, said: “The Sleepy Lagoon Orchestra was formed at the University of Chichester initially as an experimental ensemble performing Salon Orchestra music from the 1900s to 1960s.

“Its name comes from the composition By the Sleepy Lagoon” (Desert Island discs theme tune), which Eric Coates wrote whilst staying in Selsey, having been inspired by the view of Bognor Regis across the lagoon.

“It soon became clear that the orchestra could perform a much wider range of music than was first thought and has recently performed as an orchestra for a Viennese Ball, played Disney film music in a school, 1950s television theme tunes to a community club and performed as a pit orchestra in a theatre in Sevenoaks. This versatile group of musicians is now turning its hand to another genre, 1930s swing.

“The Jack Hylton Band in 1929 sold over three million records, six records a minute, remarkable considering that these were 78rpm records in a world where online referred to washing! The band was one of the most successful in the world, its repertoire ranging from classical music through popular songs to original material. The band worked with many of the celebrities of the day including George Formby and Vera Lynn.

“The Jack Hylton archive at the University of Lancaster contains most of the musical arrangements which were done for the band as well as newspaper articles and written material from the period.

“Whilst an undergraduate at Lancaster Pete Faint discovered the wealth of material in the archive and has written the definitive Jack Hylton biography as well as transcribing and editing musical arrangements.

“Having gone on to work in the music industry with a list of collaborations including some of the biggest names in Pop music Pete has maintained his connection with the Jack Hylton legacy appearing in Television documentaries and advising behind the scenes for period dramas on Jack Hylton’s music.”

The performance is on Saturday, October 27 at 7.30pm in the Assembly Rooms, North Street, Chichester. PO19 1LQ. Tickets are available from www.chi.ac.uk/events or by phone at the Ticket Source box office 0333 6663366.

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