Het Brabants Orkest and the Carnival Concerts (1997 – 2008)

These extravagant Carnival Concerts take place every February, usually in the Theater aan de Parade, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where the concerts had to start at 11 minutes past 8 for both the Oeteldonks and the Carnival Prince.  The next night was in Eindhoven and the third in Breda, all, including the public, were in competitive fancy dress.  The conductor (also in flamboyant outfits) was always awarded a host of medals at the concerts.  Following his successful run of New Babylon in 1996, because of his great sense of British humour, Mark was the obvious choice to take over in 1997.  Due to the large performing space in Eindhoven Mark was offered a variety of ways to make his entrance at the start of the concert, ranging from the back of a police motor cycle, a Landrover surrounded by Hell’s Angels, a camel nicknamed Charlie etc.  The programmes were sorted out with Mark and the event managers to everyone’s satisfaction and contained great variety.  There were always some traditional Dutch folk songs and medleys, light music, variety acts as well as Classical music items.  Many well-known performers took part.  Caroline Watkinson (2002) and Roberta Alexander were particularly noticeable.  Each year had a completely different theme which was joyful and uplifting for all.  During this period Mark also had several more normal concerts with them as well.