I thought that I’d reached that stage in life where absolutely nothing had the capacity to amaze me any more when I walked into a fairly typical Ealing home to find a 40-piece philharmonic orchestra, a former England football manager and an eager crowd awaiting the first note of what was billed as The Last Night of the Waldeck Proms.
This incredible achievement was the brainchild of Callum and Michelle McLeod and brought to fruition by the enthusiastic support of many an Ealing-based musician, including the violin genius known to us as Dermot Crehan.
The evening not only provided a West London alternative to the Albert Hall but was also a fundraiser for the Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.
From the Dambusters’ March through to Pomp and Circumstance No.1 the orchestra played magnificently, the audience singing along where appropriate – and occasionally in tune – and the evening finally exploded in a pyrotechnic display that may possibly have rattled windows for miles around but stunned the eye of all beholders.
The orchestra was conducted by Callum and featured as one of the soloists the well-known local personality Eddie Willson.
Now Eddie is widely known as a garage proprietor of immense talent and one of the most enthusiastic QPR supporters in London. That he now came to the microphone to sing Nessun Dorma with lung-bursting brilliance was just stunning.
Even more amazing was the fact that Rangers had a 4pm kick off that Sunday and were handing out a fairly comprehensive thrashing to the unfortunate Southampton at the very time that Eddie was running through his scales at the end of the garden.
The end result was a win for the Rs and a victory for Eddie.
As a brief distraction from the political horrors of the moment and the depressing weather the Waldeck Proms were a real tonic.