Platinum Jubilee: Edinburgh Portobello High pupils prepare to entertain Queen in London’s Jubilee Pageant

Two Portobello High School pupils will find themselves at the heart of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations this weekend when they march in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London on Sunday.

By Liam Rudden
Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 12:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd June 2022, 2:11 pm

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Molly MacLeod, 15, and Oscar Hilliam-Cook, 14, are members of Edinburgh's record-breaking street music troupe Oi Musica who will give a one-off performance, featuring a UK-record-breaking 12 sousaphone players, for the occasion.

The pair will be two of more than 6,000 costumed performers who will process down The Mall to Buckingham Palace in front of an international TV audience of millions on Sunday, June 5.

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Molly MacLeod, 15, and Oscar Hilliam-Cook, 14, both centre in green, with other members of Edinburgh's Oi Musica who will march in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant

Together with Oi Musica, one of only two Scottish performance groups to feature in the celebration, they will feature in the Carnival section of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant, which provides an opportunity for communities to celebrate the milestone of The Queen becoming the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee with 70 years of service.​

The 32-strong Oi Musica troupe will join ranks with Kinetika Bloco, a London-based carnival youth company to form a 120-strong marching band of samba drums, steel pans, brass and wind players, providing a soundtrack for 200 costumed youth dancers.

Trombonist Oscar, says, “I feel so excited and privileged to be given the opportunity of a lifetime to play with Oi Musica and Kinetika Bloco in front of millions at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.”

Molly, who also plays trombone, adds, “I think this is an incredible opportunity and I'm really excited. I never expected I would ever do anything like this and it's amazing to have the chance to play a part in such a massive band."

Oi Musica are heading to London for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant

With Oi Musica they will perform two pieces for the Pageant, River of Hope, a collaborative piece inspired by the hopes and dreams of young people, and A slice of New Orleans, inspired by the American city's inimitable high school marching bands, which the troupe encountered on a trip to Mardi Gras in 2012.

Olivia Furness, Creative Director of Oi Musica says, “Oi Musica is thrilled to be part of such a large-scale and spectacular event, and we are grateful for the opportunity to unite so many of Scotland’s top carnival musicians for the occasion.

“River of Hope focuses on the legacy of the Queen’s 70-year reign, looking to the future and asking young people what their dreams for the next 70 years might be. As an organisation with a strong youth focus, we are delighted to be part of this.”

Oi Musica uses the music of street bands to bring people and communities together, creating inspirational musical experiences for everyone. Founded in 2011 by musicians Furness and Marcus Britton, Oi Musica is an ambitious, artist-led organisation working throughout Scotland and beyond to celebrate all aspects of group music and the common ground shared between players from different backgrounds.

In 2018, the street band set the record for the most sousaphones to perform in one band in the UK, with 11 on stage at the one time. The Platinum Jubilee Pageant, however, will include the largest parading sousaphone section the UK has ever enjoyed, with at least a dozen players bringing the bass on the day.

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