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Former members help orchestra mark anniversary

Monday, 5 March 2012

More than 100 past players will swell the ranks of the Manx Youth Orchestra as it marks its 40th anniversary with a special concert.

The celebration takes place on the morning of Saturday 24 March at St Ninian’s High School.

The ex-members will join the current MYO for an hour and half's rehearsal from 10am before performing a 30-minute concert at 12 noon. The music will be selected from the MYO’s past repertoire. A social occasion will follow at 12.30pm.

The orchestra, run by the Department of Education and Children’s Music Service, was formed in September 1971 and gave its first concert in the spring of 1972.

In October last year, it appealed for ex-members to dust off their instruments and rejoin it for the celebration.

John Kinley, from the Music Service, said:

‘The appeal has led to more than 100 former members coming forward and they will join the 60 current musicians for what promises to be a lovely event.

‘The past members are coming from all over the British Isles and it is amazing how many have gone on to forge careers in music. We are being joined by an Army Director of Music, a music therapist and several music teachers, among others.

‘Many of those who responded to our appeal still play music in one form or other with orchestras and bands. Others haven’t played for years and have had to dig out their instruments from their lofts or borrow instruments for the occasion.

‘They had their music posted out about a month ago and have hopefully been practising hard.’

The orchestra will be conducted by the current musical director, the DEC’s Head of Music Service Maggie Richardson, and former conductors/heads of music service Graham Kirkland and Bernard Osborne. John, who played with the orchestra as a teenager, will also lead part of the performance.

  • 'Hoe Down' from 'Rodeo' – Aaron Copland
  • 'Band of Brothers' – Michael Kamen
  • 'Berceuse and Finale' from 'The Firebird' – Stravinsky
  • March from 'Little Suite for Orchestra Number 1' – Malcolm Arnold (the orchestra's former patron)

Tickets are free but there are just 300 and many of these will be snapped up by friends and relatives of those playing, so it’s recommended anyone wishing to attend contacts the Music Centre in Lord Street, Douglas, as soon as possible on +44 1624 686555.

There will be a retiring collection in aid of the Friends of the Manx Youth Orchestra.

At a post-concert reception, organised by the Friends, photographs/memorabilia of the MYO will be on display, including programmes dating back to the early years. Players and audience members are invited to bring along anything of interest or contact John at the Music Centre to arrange to loan it.

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