Rochdale Youth Orchestra

Reviews 2012

Christmas Spectacular 2012

Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s annual ‘Christmas Spectacular’ heralded the start of the festive season on December 1st at the Gracie Fields Theatre.

The Orchestra, with musical director Sue Verity, performed a variety of seasonal music including the ever- popular ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’, ‘Pie Jesu’ and a ‘Merry Christmas Potpourri’ of other Christmas songs and carols which had the audience humming and tapping toes.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening, William Hobhouse, did a wonderful job of keeping the audience entertained with the life of Gracie Fields during the changeover of items. His daughter Emily Hobhouse, a member of the Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, played a challenging Presto by Kabalevsky on the piano with great dexterity.

RYO Jazz Ensemble, directed by Chris Jolly, performed Christmas music demonstrating the skills of the young players with improvisations including unusual versions of ‘We Three Kings’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ arranged by Chris himself.

Well-known local singer Freda Farnworth brought along two choirs – Rochdale Retirement Choir and Tonacliffe Primary School Choir each of which delighted the audience with their well-rehearsed repertoire of festive songs.

The finale saw all of the performers on stage, with all ages of enthusiastic local people in a celebration of Christmas music, culminating in the singing of carols joined by a receptive audience.


Summer Spectacular 2012

Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s Summer  Spectacular concert was held at Rochdale’s magnificent Town Hall on Saturday evening. The concert was very well attended and special guests included the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillors James and Jane Gartside and local M.P.s Simon Danczuk and Jim Dobbin

The evening was well co-ordinated by M.C. William Hobhouse who ensured that all ran smoothly.  Guest performers were Rochdale Schools Concert Orchestra.

Rochdale Youth Orchestra with musical director Sue Verity and leader Moet Griffiths began the evening’s entertainment. Various countries were visited including Scotland with ‘Loch Lomond’ and ‘Skye Boat Song’, Vienna with the ‘Blue Danube Waltz’ and warmer climes with ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ A lively ‘Russian Gopak’ concluded this section.

Chris Jolly directed the RYO Jazz Ensemble from the saxophone. Their performance included two charming arrangements of traditional pieces - ‘Skip to My Lou’ and ‘St Anthony Chorale’, both of which enabled the children to show their individual skills in solo parts.

Rochdale Schools Concert Orchestra with musical director Ian Nelson performed a varied selection of pieces including the lively ‘William Tell Overture’ and ‘March to the Scaffold’  with its sombre undertones, both of which utilised the brass and percussion section to its full capacity – echoing around the Great Hall.

The concert concluded with the combined orchestras performing a rousing Last Night of the Proms theme. Freda Farnworth, well- known local soprano, delighted the audience with ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Jerusalem’ and other music included ‘Crown Imperial’ – especially chosen to mark the recent Diamond Jubilee - ‘Radetzky March’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. The audience waved their flags and sang with gusto, and clearly enjoyed the atmosphere of the whole evening.


Spring Concert review:

Saturday evening 24th March 2012 saw a new venue for Rochdale Youth Orchestra’s ‘Springtime Spectacular’ concert – the ‘Riverside’ at Whitworth.

The evening was well coordinated by Councillor William Hobhouse. Guest performers were Healey Primary School choir and dance group.

Rochdale Youth Orchestra with musical director Sue Verity and leader Moet Griffiths began the evening’s entertainment with a variety of pieces including a selection of music with a football theme – ‘Match of the Day’, the Liverpool F. C. anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and the England rugby song ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot.’

Healey Choir, with musical director Judith Whitworth at the keyboard and head teacher Mrs.Susan Taylor conducting, entertained the audience with songs from their repertoire at the recent Music Festival concluding with ‘Streets of London’ - a popular choice with the audience who sang along with them.

Healey dance group with choreographers Christine Ainley and Susan Bray put on a delightful dance display with an Olympic theme using hoops for the five circles and an authentic looking Olympic torch.

Chris Jolly directed RYO’s Jazz Ensemble in a selection of pieces which he had arranged himself especially for the group

The finale involved all of the children performing three songs on a theme of colour – ‘Yellow Bird’, ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘True Colours.’

Contact Information

Rochdale Youth Orchestra

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

Tel: 01706 355226