FORMER members of the Manx Youth Orchestra are invited to dust off their instruments and rejoin for a one-off rehearsal and concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary.
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 term 1972.
A reunion of ex-players will take place on the morning of 24th March 2012 at St Ninian’s High School. Ex-members will join the current MYO for an hour and half's rehearsal before performing a 30-minute concert at approximately 12pm for friends, family and well-wishers at noon. The music will be selected from the MYO’s past repertoire.
John Kinley, from the Music Service, said: ‘All ex players and staff are welcome, even if they haven't played for ages. This is their chance to get their instruments out of the loft and have some fun.
‘Music will be sent out in advance and there is no limit on numbers of players who can join in,’ John said.
The ad-hoc orchestra will be conducted by the current musical director, the DEC’s Head of Music Service, Maggie Richardson, plus former conductors/heads of music service Graham Kirkland and Bernard Osborne.
John, who was a member of the orchestra when he was in his teens, will also conduct part of the performance.
If you are interested in taking part, please collect a form
from the Music Centre in Lord Street, Douglas, or download it here:
Please complete the form and return it via email (using the word version) or post to the music centre (details on the form). The closing date for returning forms is the 12th December 2011. N.B. This is only for those ex-members of the orchestra who wish to play in the rehearsal concert - information will be released nearer the time for those who wish to simply attend and watch the workshop concert.
The orchestra was formed following inspirational visits to
the Island by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the
Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra. Demand for places was so high that a
junior section soon had to be created.
The first concert was held at Park Road School. The earliest conductors were Bill Mainey and Mr Osborne, who were both instrumental teachers employed by the then Board of Education.
The Friends of the Manx Youth Orchestra was formed that year to provide financial and practical help for groups under the MYO umbrella.
Today, nine groups meet on Saturday mornings. They are the Junior Strings, the Junior Wind Group, the Manx Youth Wind Orchestra, the Manx Youth String Orchestra, the Manx Training Orchestra, the Manx Youth Concert Band, the Manx Youth Chamber Orchestra, the Manx Youth Swing Band and the Manx Youth Orchestra itself.
In all, 200 young musicians aged from six to 19 are involved in one or more of these groups and are coached by a team of staff from the Music Service and from schools.
As soon as children reach grade 1 standard on an orchestral instrument they are eligible to join.
Many of the young musicians continue their musical studies when they leave school and find that the experience gained in the MYO stands them in good stead for university orchestras or local adults’ groups.
Since its earliest days, the orchestra has represented the Isle of Man around the world on concert tours and festivals in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, Israel, USA and the former Soviet Union. Its most recent tour was to the Netherlands in July.
The Friends, a registered charity, assists with the purchase of instruments and underwriting concerts and subsidises every member of the orchestra participating in tours so that a musically balanced group can be guaranteed.