Spring Swing Spectacular! Organised, managed by and starring myself, this sell-out event took my home town of Colchester, Essex by storm. In order to raise essential funds for my masters at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, it seemed inevitable that I would use my love of big band singing to attempt to entertain and impress. This being my first professional event (totally separate from any educational institution) it was a tentative start, but the end product did not disappoint. What I created was a vintage themed 'Swing Spectacular' - a night of music, dancing (including an official dance lesson), and all-around glamorous entertainment.
The Arts Centre in Colchester is renowned for its rich cultural offering and recently thriving jazz scene, and this evening saw the place full to the brim with excited guests all dressed to the nines, dancing the night away to the sound of classic jazz vocals and the ever energetic and crowd-pleasing Sweeting Swing Band. At several points during the night, I showcased something I'd been working on with two of my spectacularly talented friends, Jessica Dives and Caitling Arnott: an Andrews Sisters-style vocal trio which dazzled the audience yet more. There was also a spectacular performance from London's Gatsby Girls (a trio of sequin-adorned flapper dancers) who amazed the audience with their near acrobatic Charleston moves and beaming character-ful faces.
I approached the organisation of the event with every detail in mind, wanting to make it a fully rounded entertaining experience. In one corner of the room was a vintage-inspired polaroid photo booth comprising furniture borrowed from the nearby Emmaus- a charity helping the homeless in Colchester, which received the proceeds from the photo booth. In the opposite corner was the Dotted Fox cocktail bar, a vintage themed pop-up cocktail bar, serving classic cocktails to complement the evening's entertainment perfectly.
Come the week of the event, the tickets were disappearing like mad and on the day there were people clammering to get their hands on one. I couldn't have asked for a better turnout, and selling out such a sought-after venue in Essex was a truly remarkable achievement for me, and one which propelled me into my masters with a much needed sense of pride and achievement.
The night combined vintage glamour, music, dancing and cocktails to create something really special, something which Colchester has not seen of this quality before, and something it will remember for a long time.
Fantastic photos of the night taken by Danielle Bather.