While our normal rehearsals are suspended until the New Year, a regular Zoom rehearsal has been established on alternate Saturday mornings. Well, I say rehearsals, but it's more of a social get-together. Contrary to rumour, however, we do do some playing and it is remarkable how quickly it is possible to adapt to what was a completely alien format. Let us know if you would like to join in - we play along to recordings with a click track for conductor, which keeps us all together - as well as chat, of course.
Members assisted with the music rehearsals and were then part of the band, together with school students and teachers, providing live music for Newent School's production of the musical 'Oliver!' in February. Playing to packed audiences this was an occasion that will be remembered for years to come.
New Edition of Our History
A painstakingly compiled history of our orchestra was published a few years ago. The author, George Taylor, handed this valuable document over to current treasurer and principal oboe, Dr Colin Henderson, who has not only brought it up to date but has created a digital version, freely available on line.
The history records all past members, concert programmes and repertoire, as well as significant dates and events. Inevitably, there is more that could be added, if we knew about it. So, if you have any information or old photographs that could have historic value, please let us know. The document can be read on line or downloaded at 'History and Heritage'.
We have recently published a handbook describing and defining how the orchestra is run so that members can have the best experience from what is on offer. You can read or download it from the link below.
Congratulations to Trevor Pleass
Our Chairperson and 1st violinist, Trevor Pleass will celebrate his 93rd birthday at the end of March. Is he the oldest orchestral player in the country? The occasion of his 90th was celebrated in style at our Newent Symphony concert on 25th March, 2017. Here's to many more years of making music with you, Trevor.
Congratulations to our President
Newent Orchestra Grant Fund
The most recent award was made to Newent Community School Music Department to facilitate a 'Bring and Mend' day for musical instruments, to be organised this summer. If you would like to donate an instrument to the school for refurbishment, let us know.
Bursary awards are available for the furthering of musical education through instrument purchase support, assistance towards cost of music tuition or courses, provision of a music course, and producing a composition. Applicants resident in the Three Choirs counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire are eligible. The fund is now also available to cover part of the cost for the establishment of music clubs or groups to encourage young people to take up music.
To apply for a grant, download both files below.
We have gratefully received contributions to the fund from the Newent Orchestral Music Appreciation Group (NOMAG), St Mary's Church in Newent, Peter Carmen and Chris Wooldridge.
Music Heritage Exhibits Upgraded
Newent's Market House is home to an exhibition and museum about Newent and the surrounding area. The exhibition has been given a make-over by the History Society and extended to include a permanent display about Newent's music heritage. This is good news for the orchestra which now has a permanent record on display of its considerable achievements. From Easter through the summer, the exhibition and museum is open on weekend afternoons.