2012 olympics

Lightyears nominated for Telegraph arts award

11 July 2012

Peterborough's moment to shine. Unfortunately the sun reneged on its end of the deal.Our 2012 Olympic project – which last week saw us performing our specially-commissioned anthem “There With You” at Peterborough’s Olympic Torch Relay concert with 600 singers and drummers – has been nominated for the Peterborough Evening Telegraph Education Awards.

Spearheaded by Moira Green, Vice Principal at Peterborough’s Voyager Academy, the project began last October when George and I spent three days holed up in his Yorkshire studio working on a track that would be suitable for a huge choir and an epic orchestral arrangement. Nine months later, joined by Tony and his army of drummers and ably assisted by orchestrator, arranger and saxophonist extraordinaire Simon Allen, we played a trilogy of Olympic concerts in Peterborough and helped to herald the arrival of the Torch in the city. Last night we learned we had received a nomination from the Evening Telegraph in the Arts category of their annual Education Awards.

Click here to read my blog on the concert experience.

Click here for a video of the second performance, shot for the BBC outside Peterborough Cathedral.

The ceremony takes place next Wednesday 18 July at the Key Theatre in Peterborough. If we were to win our category, it would earn us a place in the National Education Awards… so we’ll let you know how we get on!

That’s our bit done – now bring on the sport…

5 July 2012

Peterborough's moment to shine. Unfortunately the sun reneged on its end of the deal.Yesterday afternoon I arrived back in London after our trilogy of Olympic Torch Relay concerts, exceptionally tired but incredibly proud of what everyone has achieved over the last few days.

Tuesday evening kicked off with a rendition of our Olypmic anthem “There With You” to a crowd of thousands on Peterborough Embankment (see photo on the right). We then dashed around to Peterborough Cathedral to perform for the BBC cameras while the torch itself passed by (check out a video by clicking here). Finally, we dragged ourselves out of bed at 5am yesterday to once again serenade the Olympic Torch from the Town Square, and I got a chance to chat live with DJ Paul Stainton from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (click here and scroll through to 25mins 30secs to listen).

All in all, an incredible three days. And certainly the largest unicorn count of any gigs we’ve ever played. Thanks to the many hundreds of children and adults who spent months learning and practising the piece, and then sung their hearts out time after time. You were awesome.

Chris Lightyear

ps. The only slight dampener – other than the rain of course – was that the BBC, despite sending cameras down specifically to film us, decided against screening the performances in the end (apologies to anyone who sat in front of the telly waiting for us!) and word is we were bumped from the One Show by footage of a lost cat in a church. I was a little disappointed about this at first but, on reflection, TV companies do have to make sure they point the media spotlight on the stuff that matters. I mean, how often do the great British public get a chance to look at cats? Exactly – almost never. It’s not like you can just ‘load up YouTube’ and expect cats at the touch of a button.