As you may know, we love Goldsborough Hall! It's a stunning venue, completely exclusive and utterly enchanting. It is home to some of the kindest staff we meet and even the owners are a pleasure to have about! This weekend saw something very special happening there. What an absolute pleasure it was to see the wonderful venue transformed from it's usual intimate luxury, in to a glorious entertaining-space for 200+ guests. The marquee was mind-blowing. Where there is normally a grand entrance to and from the gravel courtyard, became a seamless link into a perfectly square and surprising large wedding breakfast room. Having the addition of this space left the entire house - which let's face it, isn't small - free for our music and dancing.
Our brief was that there would be an elegant and informal style to the music. Jeeves and Wooster had been mentioned as a light 'theme'. We created a group and an selection of music arrangements specifically for this. The line-up was violin (me!), cello, piano and double bass for before dinner. Guests arrived early, as they so often do! There were a good number of children and accompanying a rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle by one little girl was a treat! We had to stretch our planned set by adding some of the wonderful lost "Palm Court" music. Pieces like Il Bacio, Bethena and the Tango from Scent of a Woman.
Now this last one may have been where we went wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it!). The Tango scene from Scent of a Woman is an infamous film-scene and as you might expect, it started a couple dancing. "Now there's nothing wrong with that....". I couldn't agree more, only the next request was for Dancing Queen! Anyway fortunately we were saved by the call for guests to be seated for dinner.
I'm told the food was excellent as always - sadly we musicians don't always get to share the fine-dining experience - but the smell was certainly wonderful!
Following dinner, we'd planned to change our group around a little. Off home went the cello, to be replaced by drums. Nothing loud, just light brushes and some jazz standards. Misty, It Don't Mean a Thing, Cheek to Cheek, It Had To be You.... and then came the request, "Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader... and if you don't know that, what about "I'm Yours by Jason Mraz?" Now, I'm Yours is one of my favourites, so how could I refuse?! And then - it went off from there - as they say! Take That, Andy Williams, Elton John, Ronan Keating, Abba... that's quite a challenge! In effect, we just made up an entire set of party tunes and we had a disco - but bear-in-mind, the band was Violin, Piano, Double bass and Drums - oh, and a lot of singers and dancers!
Now this may all seem a little odd, but it's on the backdrop of the bride being adamant that she didn't think anyone would want to dance. She'd planned a quiet, subdued evening after dinner and whilst Goldsborough Hall affords the space for those who didn't want to be involved to 'escape', those who were keen to party had a unique and, I'm sure, the most sophisticated and memorable, disco ever! Certainly not what I expected....
My thanks go to Clare and Mark Oglesby and all the staff at Goldsborough Hall. I'm just slightly ashamed I couldn't remember the verse to Sweet Caroline for you, Clare! Next time....