Once in a lifetime memory Feb 1976

11 February 1976 - 19:30


Nicki Alvey

Unforgettable experience

As a 17 year old I was at school in central London for sixth form.   Our music master (David Beford) was a friend of Vangelis, who had been working on his Heaven and Hell studio album (released in December 1975) and featured the English Chamber Choir and Jon Anderson.  

David Bedford had been creatively involved with Heaven and Hell, and was asked to provide Vangelis with some girls to sing and play the kettledrums at the sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1976, organised to promote the Heaven and Hell album.  I was chosen to both join the choir, but mainly to feature playing the kettledrum – with zero experience I might add!  We performed at the concert held on 11th February.

The critics didn't much like our singing (seemingly not very well rehearsed was the main comment) nor our attire (we were dressed in long white flowing dresses - representing 'heaven" in the Heaven and Hell repetoire). Thankfully no comments were made about the kettledrum player. 

However for me - a lover of the Royal Albert Hall by then - it was an amazing memory to make: not much beats playing live music on the stage of the iconic Royal Albert Hall!  I will never forget it and will treasure it for ever.  When I still go to (the many) concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, I love to be able to say to myself - or anyone else who might listen! - "I've played the kettledrum on that stage"!


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