Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Judo star bowled over by orchestra

Sarah Clark won gold in judo in the under-63kg division at the Commonwealth Games

Gold medallist Sarah Clark swapped the judo mat for the conductor's podium as she led an orchestra in a performance of Scotland's unofficial national anthem at Glasgow Airport.

The athlete, who won gold in judo in the under-63kg division at the Commonwealth Games, conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and members of the RSNO chorus as they performed Flower of Scotland.

RSNO invited her to conduct the song, by The Corries, which has accompanied the awarding of Scottish gold medals at Glasgow 2014.

The Scotland judo star, who has little musical experience, was given a brief lesson in conducting by RSNO assistant conductor Jean-Claude Picard before picking up the baton for the performance.

She said: "I had a fantastic morning today, conducting the Royal Scottish National orchestra when they played the national anthem at the airport.

"I was very nervous once the orchestra began playing but it was really fun and an experience I will remember for a long time. The sound was absolutely amazin g."

Commonwealth Games Scotland commissioned the RSNO to provide recorded instrumental versions of Flower of Scotland to be played at the Glasgow 2014 medals ceremonies in the event of Scottish success.

The orchestra has played at the airport on other occasions in the past.

Mr Picard: "It was a memorable experience returning to Glasgow Airport to provide appropriate musical accompaniment to the many visitors who will have joined us for the Commonwealth Games, and a privilege to be able to say thank you in our own special way.

"To have Sarah join us for the morning was a wonderful surprise."

The orchestra and RSNO chorus gave two performances today to celebrate the conclusion of the Games featuring music with a sporting theme.

Francois Bourienne, commercial director at Glasgow Airport, said: "Over the past few weeks, Glasgow Airport has served as the gateway to the Games and it has been a privilege to welcome thousands of athletes and their teams from across the Commonwealth.

"Throughout this busy period, Glasgow Airport will be the first and last impression visitors will have of Scotland and the RSNO's live performance helps to ensure thousands of passengers take away some very special memories of Scotland with them."

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