2015 proved to be a very
special year for the Orchestra especially with our eighth successful tour of
Devon during August when we took 22 players for a series of nine performances
around Torbay and Dartmouth. Two months later we were up to our eyes in the
final rehearsals for our two evening concerts to celebrate our 30th Anniversary. Not only did the Senior Orchestra perform, supported by our junior
players, but we were joined by our older players in the form of Panfire. The
second half included a brilliant singing performance by our own ex-player and
Panfire member Samantha Siddall. On Saturday night we managed to get fifteen
ex-players to come up on stage to show that they still had it in them to perform
to a high standard several years on. The concerts were held at Hyde Festival Theatre
with a sell out on the Saturday evening.
The rest of the year
kept all the players and parents very busy right through to Christmas with many
of our regular venues revisited as well as several new ones such as Wigan and
Hanley that we have included again during 2016. We enjoyed great weekends for
our annual visits to the Cumbria Steam Gathering at Flookburgh, and the
Yesteryear Rally at Malpas, Cheshire.
The Orchestra also
worked hard during the year with our licensed charity collections for the Royal
Manchester Children's Hospital Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Trust, which we have supported
since 1985 in several North West shopping precincts. With other donations from
supporting organisations, the total donated to date now stands at over £49,000.
We intend to reach £50,000 by the end of 2016 to become the largest single contributor
to this worthwhile children's charity.
Outside of our main
charity work, we also supported a number of other charity events during the
year including Cancer Research UK and Joining Jack in Wigan.
As usual there have been
a few changes in the lineup of the Orchestra over the last twelve months as a
number of players have left to concentrate on college and work. We are now twenty four strong and have plenty of players available,
even when some are working or on holiday. It will be good for the summer's busy
schedule, which is kept up to date alongside as we progress through the year,
with more details of times etc. if you click on the locations.
Paul Handley continues
with the majority of our tuition to junior and senior players, supported by
Steve Marshall and other long serving senior players. Ashley Hogg provides drum
tuition at junior practices with training for new young drummers. We are still
looking to recruit drummers to supplement our regular ones who have continuing
We had a good number of junior players join us
in 2015 and intend to take them out with the senior Orchestra in the spring.
2016 will find us in most of the counties of the north of England and Wales You
are always welcome to come and see us at our many venues and keep in touch
through our Facebook page.