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This week’s Monday Memories are drawn from the response to the amazing Love For Lighthouse online benefit concert given by alumni of Parkstone and Poole Grammar Schools last month. Here, Frankie Holman recalls playing at Lighthouse with Wessex Youth Orchestra.  

I am one of many Lighthouse alumni. its existence in Poole has been as important to me as any of the schools I went to. As someone who has just emerged from university with an English Literature & Creative Writing degree, minoring in Theatre Studies, I can safely say I would not have done so without institutions like Lighthouse.  

The Arts are integral to Poole and to the country, especially when there seems to be this notion that Art does not exist outside of London. It's hard to pick one memory, because every single memory was positive!  

I attended Young Writers a small writing group run by two wonderful, unforgettable people –and the Wessex Youth Orchestra for four years. We played some fabulous scores on the Lighthouse stage: Elgar's 'Pomp and Circumstance', Borodin's 'Polotsvian Dances', Tchaikovsky's '1812', the entire Holst 'Planets' suite... the list goes on and on.  

My favourite memory would probably be from my first year in the Wessex, aged 15. The older members of the orchestra were determined to play 'Lord of the Dance' as our encore to the summer concert, but our conductor kept refusing so they pushed harder. They left #LOTD signs everywhere (and I mean everywhere) during rehearsals; they put the music on our stands and told us to play it instead; they wrote an anonymous letter to the conductor with a list of all the times professional orchestras had used it in their encore... I’m pretty sure some of them were made up.  

Anyway, in the end, they won her over and the concert went out with a bang with Lord of the Dance! Mission successful! 

:: Want to share your memories of the shows you've seen, the people you've met, the feelings you've felt at Lighthouse? Great! We'd love to hear them. Email nick.churchill@lighthousepoole.co.uk. 

Published 31 August 2020