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Red Nose Day
BBC Phil: making whoopee
Orchestra makes 'whoopee!'
The rousing finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture approaches. On a flick of the conductor’s baton, the wind section of the orchestra rises - and responds with a full and fruity raspberry...
To be honest, it’s not something that occurs routinely at concerts given by the BBC Philharmonic.
Doing something funny...
But, for Comic Relief 2009, the Manchester-based orchestra has recorded a one-off whoopee cushion concert with a selection of popular classics including the Blue Danube, the Hornpipe and the 1812.
And taking centre stage of the orchestra's unusual wind section, the world's largest whoopee cushion - a giant 3-metre latex monster designed by Salford acoustic scientist Trevor Cox.
“The whoopee cushion behaves like the mouthpiece of a musical instrument, and so it was a good visual way of showing what is going on when talking about the physics of sound generation."
The performance at BBC Manchester’s Oxford Road studios was introduced by girl band The Saturdays - singers of this year's Comic Relief single - and comedian Nick Hancock.
The concert finished with the five girls jumping on the giant whoopee cushion in place of the cannonade at the end of Tchaikovsky's composition.
Finale: the Saturdays and Nick Hancock
It’s all to raise awareness for this year’s ‘Do Something Funny for Money’ appeal for which you can buy a Comic Relief whoopee cushion along with your red nose.
How to join in
If you’re itching to let rip with a B-flatulence alongside the bassoons, the Whoopee Cushion concert will be shown on Manchester’s BBC Big Screen at lunchtime on Red Nose Day (13 March 2009) then later in the Orient at the Trafford Centre from 2-5pm.
Buy your special Red Nose Day Whoopee Cushion then whoopee along to The Blue Danube, rasp the Hornpipe and let rip for the 1812 Overture.
last updated: 13/03/2009 at 12:45