Looking back and forward - our 30th Year!
It seems amazing that 30 years have passed since Hugh Bushell had the wonderful idea to start a small professional chamber orchestra based in Taunton. Aided by is wife and violist Anna, and directed by Chris Peto, the first concert was duly organised and took place in the Richard Huish College in Taunton on 1982. I am pleased to say that I played in that first concert, and hope to continue as a playing member for a while to come! The programme then included some of the wonderful arrangement of Stravinsky's ballet music 'Apollon Musagete', and Ron Tickner was the soloist in Mozart's piano concerto K414, which will be played by our eminent president, Allan Schiller in September this year.
It has sometimes been a bit of a struggle to keep 'the show on the road', almost wholly due to the difficulty of getting sufficient funding from other sources, as ticket sales rarely cover the significant costs of producing concerts to the standards to which we aspire. As a registered charity, it is always nice to receive contributions from HMRC, and we are especially grateful to the money given to us in the last couple of years by the Rosamunde Pilcher Charitable Trust.
In the last 30 years we have certainly had some really great concerts, and look forward to some more this year. Our February fundraiser, with director Mary Eade and friends Colin Parr on clarinet, Sarah Wormell second violin, Andrew Gillett viola and Vicki Evans cello was a great success, and we are much indebted to the above for doing this for very modest expenses only. The sublime sounds of Colin's clarinet were heard in the lovely acoustic of Temple Methodist church, and we hope you will come and hear Allan caressing the ivories in this beautiful building in September. Colin will be back with us in April in St James to play Mozart's concerto, and Mary will play the whole of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, which are so often heard 'in bits'. Another fundraiser on May 20th is in the old music room at Queen's College, Taunton, when Mary and friends are generously giving a recital of piano trios. Our usual slot for the Taunton Young Musician takes place in June when pianist Weng Soon Tee will play a Haydn piano concerto in an interesting programme. This, and the June 'Jubilee' concert when our president joins us, are both in the Temple Methodist church as they have a very good piano. The June programme includes the orchestral arrangement of Shostakovitch's 8th string quartet, deservedly his best known, and a wonderful work. The season ends with a baroque programme in November - all other details elsewhere on this web site.
We look forward to a good year - please persuade your friends to give us a try!