Video: Ulster Orchestra Flash Mob
Watch the full official video exclusively on CNI as players surprise punters at St George's Market
We've all seen the photographs and grainy smartphone footage appearing online over the past few days, and now Culture Northern Ireland can bring you the full official video recording of the Ulster Orchestra's flash mob performance in St George's Market in Belfast on Saturday, November 23.
Playing a piece composed by Ástor Piazzolla, 43 players from the orchestra congregate in the market's central dining area, where punters regularly relax and people watch over coffee and purchases made. Beginning with a percusive introduction, the piece expands to include string, wind and brass sections. May McFetridge even shows up to lend a hand – after all, it is panto season.
The flash mob was filmed by Chrissie Harris Productions, and organised to raise awareness of the Ulster Orchestra's current funding difficulties and the Save the Ulster Orchestra campaign, which has received support from prestigious classical musicians, patrons, arts organisations and other classical ensembles from around the world.
This week the campaign presented a petition of 14,000 signatures to the Minister for Culture, Arts & Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín. So far the campaign has yielded tangible results. Belfast City Council, for example, have offered to give the orchestra £100,000 on condition that other funders make up the remaining £400,000 shortfall.
Sir George Bain, Chairman of the Ulster Orchestra said: 'We are delighted with the response to the flash mob. I believe it shows how the orchestra is able to reach out to the people of Northern Ireland, inspiring them and making them feel proud to have such a world-class product representing their country. A huge thank you to all the organisers and everyone who helped make this first flash mob such a success.'
Although it remains to be seen if the Save the Ulster Orchestra campaign will ultimately prove successful, UO players and staff have evidently not let thoughts of closure dampen their spirits, as this video shows. The orchestra's 2014/15 season is also progressing as per usual, with several festive concerts scheduled to take place in the run up to Christmas.