Rochdale Youth Orchestra

Reviews 2011

Christmas Spectacular 2011

Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s Christmas Spectacular concert at the Gracie Fields Theatre on Saturday evening 10th December was held in front of one of their largest ever audiences. The Mayor and Mayoress attended and MC was Councillor James Gartside who ensured that all ran smoothly.

In addition to festive music from the Orchestra with musical director Sue Verity and RYO Jazz ensemble directed by Chris Jolly, Norden Community Primary School choir delighted the audience with their performance of Christmas songs.

Ben Whitehead, tuba player with RYO, is also a member of Norden school choir and he sang a moving rendition of ‘O Holy Night’ which brought in huge applause.
Singers and dancers from Norden School joined the Orchestra in a wonderful performance of ‘Walking in the Air’ from ‘The Snowman’. Thanks must go to their musical director Kate Mellors with music and dance co-ordinators Amy Hamilton-Lane and Fiona White for all their hard work.

Emily Hobhouse, talented violinist with RYO, celebrated her 15th birthday that evening and sacrificed partying to be with the Orchestra and also to perform Debussy’s Claire de Lune on the piano. This is a very challenging piece which Emily took in her stride and demonstrated what a competent pianist she is too.

Mrs Maureen Cooper MBE presented a cheque of £1000 to Sue for  Rochdale Youth Orchestra on behalf of Rochdale Childer. Rochdale Youth Orchestra had performed along with Rochdale Music Service in Rochdale Town Hall at a special anniversary concert in September in memory of Sir Cyril Smith who was a staunch supporter of youth music in Rochdale. Sir Cyril was instrumental in forming Rochdale Youth Orchestra 50 years ago and it was Childer’s wish that the donations received following his death should be used to further promote music for young people in the town.

The concert culminated in all children filling the stage to perform a selection of Christmas music including carols for the audience to participate in and a rousing rendition of ‘So Here it is Merry Christmas’ by Slade.


Summer Concert

The Gracie Fields Theatre was the venue for Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s summer concert on Sunday 10th July.

Group performances included Rochdale Junior Youth Orchestra with musical director Sue Verity, Rochdale Senior Orchestra with conductor David Scott, Rochdale Jazz ensemble with conductor Chris Jolly and guest performers from Rochdale Music Service Rochdale Schools Concert Orchestra with musical director Ian Nelson.
Other performances were from clarinet duet Anna Pearson and Lydia Bruton-Jones, RYO’s string quartet and RSCO’s trombone quartet.

Special guest was Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s president Keith Swift who entertained the audience with two songs - ‘Come Fly with Me’ and ‘The Impossible Dream.’ Keith, as Mayor of Rochdale in 2009 to 2010, raised funds through his charity for the Youth Orchestra and Music Service and was instrumental in bringing the groups together for performances such as this.
MC for the evening was Cllr Jim Gartside, deputy mayor of Rochdale, who did a splendid job in ensuring that all ran smoothly.

The evening culminated in a Last Night of the Proms theme where all the performers filled the stage and audience joined in with singing, clapping and waving flags.
The soloist in ‘Rule Britannia’ was Isobel Webster, leader of Rochdale Youth Orchestra. Other rousing numbers included ‘Radetsky March’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory.’

Rochdale Childer are sponsoring an anniversary concert in memory of Sir Cyril Smith at Rochdale Town Hall on Saturday 10th September at 7pm. The proceeds of this concert will benefit the young musicians of Rochdale.
The theme for the evening will be largely based on this concert with groups from the Youth Orchestra and Music Service taking part and will include the Last Night of the Proms music for audience participation.
Tickets (adults £5 and children £1) will be available from Touchstones from 10th August.


Springtime Spectacular 2011

On Saturday 2nd April, Gracie Fields Theatre was host to Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s ‘Springtime Spectacular’ concert. The junior orchestra – with musical director Sue Verity and leader Enrica Latter – began the evening’s entertainment with a variety of classical numbers including ‘Spring’ from ‘The Seasons’ by Vivaldi, Beethoven’s ‘Hymn to Joy’ and Leopold Mozart’s ‘Toy Symphony’ featuring the young percussionists who played the cuckoo, bird whistle and toy trumpet. The orchestra concluded by performing four popular Abba numbers including ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Money Money Money.’ 

Special guests for the evening were award-winning Rochdale Youth Choir from Rochdale Music Service with musical director James Lewis who directed the choir from the piano. The audience was enthralled by the superb singing from this young choir. Their repertoire included ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat’ from ‘Guys and Dolls’ and the popular ‘Lady Gaga Medley’. 

Extra items included delightful numbers from clarinet trio Anna Pearson, Lydia Bruton-Jones and Max Hartle and soloists Beth Haworth – trumpet - and vocalists Elizabeth Kelly and Nathan Finn. 

Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s percussion teacher Chris Jolly, with his colleagues and friends, the Sakharov Saxophone Quartet, led Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s Jazz ensemble in performing four pieces which Chris had arranged especially for them. This included Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ which featured young drummer Conaire Holmes who did a splendid job in keeping the rhythm precise throughout. 

Councillor Keith Swift was the compere for the evening and a presentation to him followed as an acknowledgement for the funds he raised for Rochdale Youth Orchestra during his year of office as Mayor. Cllr Swift’s Mayor’s Charity Fund raised in total £17, 400 for the young musicians of Rochdale. Rochdale Youth Orchestra received £5,400 and Sue thanked him on behalf of everyone. 

The Finale saw all of the musicians and audience taking part in Abba’s ‘I Have a Dream’ led by Elizabeth Kelly and ‘Mamma Mia.’

Contact Information

Rochdale Youth Orchestra

Meets at: Gracie Fields Theatre
Oulder Hill School
OL12 6RY

Tel: 01706 355226