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High note for talented county musicians

The North Yorkshire Schools Symphony Orchestra with conductor Simon Wright at Harrogate Ladies College
The North Yorkshire Schools Symphony Orchestra with conductor Simon Wright at Harrogate Ladies College

North Yorkshire’s most talented young musicians have been showing what they are made of over the summer in a number of high profile performances.

The North Yorkshire Music Service’s County Band and Big Band have just returned from a successful tour of France and Belgium where they performed three concerts to great acclaim in Ostend, Le Touquet and Ypres.

The 51 musicians set off following a weekend of rehearsals and a concert at the Read School, Drax.

One of the highlights of the tour was an impromptu trip to Tyne Cot First World War cemetery near Ypres where concert band trumpet player, Oliver Abbey, played the Last Post.

Ian Bangay, head of North Yorkshire County Council’s instrumental music service said:

This was a truly moving moment and one I am sure the band will remember for a long time.

Following this successful tour the bands are looking to follow up with a Christmas concert and further tour next summer.

In another showcase event the North Yorkshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra performed their annual concert recently at Harrogate Ladies College following the county music service’s orchestral summer school.

The school enables over 100 gifted and talented musicians to perform at the top of their ability level and provides the opportunity for young people to work with top class professional musicians. This year the orchestra was conducted by internationally renowned Simon Wright.

The young musicians took on the challenging “Romeo and Juliet” by Tchaikovsky followed by a programme that included works by Elgar, Weber, Handel and the orchestras own composer, cellist Rebecca Nicholas from St. Aidans School, who won this year’s composers competition.

Freddie Brewer, principle bassoon, performed the Andante e Rondo Ungarese Op. 35 for Bassoon & Orchestra by Weber. This was a truly stunning display of technique and musicality.

County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said:

The county bands and orchestra have been hugely impressive in recent years and perform to very high standards and their concerts are superb.

They provide an invaluable opportunity for young people to raise their game to the highest level and for some it has been the springboard for a successful musical career.

They are a real credit to the music service, schools and teachers and all those involved in their development. I look forward to hearing them again in the future.

This year also saw the start of the North Yorkshire Schools’ Symphony Training Orchestra aimed at younger, promising players who will hopefully join the orchestra soon. They worked together with the full symphony orchestra and music service staff before performing Franz Lehar’s famous “Gold and Silver” Waltz with the orchestra.

For information about joining any of the County Ensembles please contact the Music Service on 01609 535730 or email Christopher.Hirst


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