St Albans musician performs concert for neighbours from her tiny back garden
PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:21 15 May 2020
A St Albans violinist took to the stage in the most unusual of surroundings - the back garden of her terraced house.
After her concerts were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, professional musician Leanne Sinha decided to put on a special concert for over 40 socially distancing neighbours from the confines of her tiny back garden in the city’s Conservation Area.
Surrounded by patio furniture, with her music sheets pegged in place on a stand to prevent them blowing away, and at times standing on a chair to see her audience, Leanne performed a variety of pieces over the course of 40 minutes.
Pieces included (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, and It’s A Long Way To Tipperary. The music was arranged by Adrian Bending and the backing tracks were performed by the London Concert Orchestra rhythm section.
The garden itself is the smallest in her road, measuring just two metres wide at the bottom, but because Leanne lives in the middle of three cul-de-sacs it meant the concert reached a wide number of people.
She was joined in her performance by six year-old daughter Emily, who danced around while her mum played, while toddler Charlotte, 18 months, had to be kept away from the assorted wires after managing to switch off the backing track at one point.
Leanne has toured in over 80 different countries and performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall. She appeared alongside Liam Gallagher on Jools Holland and has also taken part in a few Radio One Live Lounge performances!.
Her last couple of concerts this year were at The Royal Festival hall and St Albans Cathedral but she has had a few classical engagements cancelled including a concert at Fairfield Halls and some Classic Ibiza concerts this summer with the Urban Soul Orchestra.
Leanne said: “I’ve been playing with flautist neighbours most weeks after the NHS clap. It’s become a bit of an occasion to see everyone (socially distanced of course!) and share some music. There’s so much positive feedback about it and we’re all so close in our area anyway that when I mentioned doing a little concert I had lots of excited messages back!
“There are quite a few people in our area who live on their own I know have been feeling lonely despite it being a supportive and friendly neighbourhood.
“I thought it would be the perfect occasion to provide some background music to people enjoying a picnic in their gardens. As it turned out lots of neighbours brought chairs and drinks and sat adjacent to my fence to listen.
”I decided to play my hornpipe encore perched on a chair at the end of my garden, so I could see them all! It was a very special moment for me, that despite everything at the moment, we were all able to come together and share an experience. Our future street party that we’re planning will I’m sure be a very special occasion!”
Neighbours welcomed the performance.
Liz Rose said: “The sound of a beautiful solo violin on the quiet and still Friday afternoon brought the whole neighbourhood together. From front gardens, back gardens and chairs suitably distanced along the road we were treated to a concert of WWII songs and music. How hard Leanne must have worked to ensure that the programme flowed. Hopefully the enthusiastic applause at the end demonstrated everyone’s appreciation!”
Neil Hunt added: “That was terrific! Stood in our garden so couldn’t see but the sound was bright and clear. We even managed some singing!”
Find out more about Leanne’s music at Facebook.com/leannewrenviolin.
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