There was a special rehearsal for Bury St Edmunds Friendly Orchestra last Tuesday when they celebrated their 10th birthday.
It saw past conductors, honorary members and those who regularly support the orchestra at events, come together to share a celebration cake and play a special version of Happy Birthday written by David Sims, a friend of the current conductor Chris Parsons.
A special poem highlighting the timeline of the orchestra was read out by the chairman Jane Roberts, written by a long time supporter of the orchestra Bryan Short – it can be found on the orchestras website (see below).
The orchestra was founded 10 years ago by Mike Baynes and Sally Haslewood and from small beginnings, with just 22 players under first conductor Jenny Sewell, the group was made up in the main of wind instruments who gathered weekly to play together in a cricket pavilion.
Leader and trustee Mimi Moll said: “The orchestra is now symphony scale in size and breadth of instruments and tackles a variety of the traditional and more contemporary orchestral scores.
“The orchestra was taken to its first public performance at the Apex by conductor Christopher Moore in March 2014. The concert was a huge success and other performances followed at the Apex in 2015 and 2016.”
The Friendly Orchestra faces another Apex first in 2017 when, with new conductor Chris Parsons, it is performing there with a choir and playing some Vaughan Williams music amongst other popular classical pieces.
The concert is on February 26, at 6pm, with the Thetford Singers, which Chris also conducts, and baritone soloist John Holland-Avery.
The orchestra meets every Tuesday in term time at 7.30pm at Hardwick Primary School, Steward Road.
The orchestra is seeking new players, in particular trumpet and trombone. If anyone is interested the details can be found on the website; http://buryfriendlyorchestra.onesuffolk.net