IT’S going to be conductor and composer Sandy Smith’s biggest ever gig.
That’s because Sandy, who conducts the world famous Grimethorpe Colliery Band, will be taking part in the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony on July 27.
Sandy, from Netherthong, and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band will be performing a 15-minute piece with the London Symphony Orchestra and Rick Smith from electronic group Underworld.
The band was picked by Olympic opening ceremony director Danny Boyle and his team, following a visit to a concert in Sussex.
As band musical director, Sandy was tasked with writing the 32-part brass section of the opening ceremony soundtrack.
Sandy and the band have been busy rehearsing after recording the piece in studio two at Abbey Road, where the Beatles recorded most of their albums.
The recording will be played at the games and will feature on a DVD showing how the London 2012 opening ceremony was made.
As leader of a legendary band, which rose to fame in the 1996 hit film Brassed Off, Sandy is no stranger to big, prestigious performances.
But scoring a piece, atypical of the usual brass band fare and to be performed to billions of viewers, was more of a challenge.
Sandy said: “In April we went to the Olympic music offices in London and we met Rick Smith and he wanted the band to be part of the ceremony.
“He had no experience of writing for brass so I was invited to do the brass scoring.
“It’s not what we’d normally play. It’s a 15-minute sequence and it’s very rhythmic. It’s quite unusual for us to play. It’s not your typical brass band march.
“It’s totally different. I’ve worked with folk and jazz players but that’s something different again.”
And how does Sandy feel about playing what is essentially the biggest concert in the world?
Mr Smith said: “It’s certainly something the band is looking forward to. Rick was blown away by the sound of the band.
“It’s a one-off. Everyone has managed to postpone their summer holidays!”
The Grimethorpe Colliery Band, originally from the pit village, of Grimethorpe, near Barnsley, rose to fame in the hit film Brassed Off.
While its members now come from across the UK, some of its original players will be joining the band for the Olympic opening ceremony.
Sandy Smith was the director of the famous Brighouse and Rastrick Band until last year.