Hastings Lifeboat March offers music capturing " spirit and bravery of the Hastings lifeboat crew as they put out to sea"

The International Composers Festival 2022, which takes place at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill from May 20 to 22, promises a truly international event featuring composers from all over the world.

Sound of Rock-A-Nore
Sound of Rock-A-Nore

But its final family concert on Sunday afternoon (May 22) also has a distinct Hastings flavour.

As spokesman Julian Norridge explains: “First of all, a brand-new piece of music called Hastings Lifeboat March, specially commissioned by the festival and dedicated to Hastings RNLI, will be given its premiere in the concert. The RNLI is the festival’s chosen charity.

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“The march was written by the festival’s composer-in-residence this year Paul Lewis who lived in Hastings Old Town for many years and knows the lifeboat station well. His aim was to capture the spirit and bravery of the Hastings lifeboat crew as they put out to sea.

“Paul Lewis has scored over 150 TV series and one-off dramas. He has conducted his own music in concert in England, France, Italy, Turkey, New Zealand and America.

“Sunday’s concert, called Songs and Dances from around the World, will also feature the popular Hastings sea shanty singers from Sound of Rock-A-Nore. They are Tom Kelly, Bob Tipler, Andi Rivett and Toby Barelli (aka in another guise as Kingsize Slim). It will be the first time they – and probably any other sea-shanty singers – have ever sung with a symphony orchestra.

“The founder and artistic director of the festival, award-winning British-Argentinian composer Polo Piatti who lives in the Old Town in Hastings, has taken two of their best-known songs, Bound Away and Randy Dandy-O, and orchestrated them for the vibrant 80-strong International Festival Orchestra.

“In similar vein, Polo has taken two of the best-loved tunes played by Sambalanco, the hugely popular Hastings samba drumming band, and written two brand-new orchestral pieces to accompany them. This will definitely be the first time that Sambalanco have ever played with a symphony orchestra.

“Other local interest will come from the participation of the Eastbourne Academy of Dancing.

Tickets trom the De La Warr Pavilion. See also www.composersfestival.com.