It’s not everyday an orchestra is born. But for the people of Suffolk they can now claim their very own Philharmonic Orchestra.
Around 700 people attended the inaugural concert at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, with a repertoire including Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten.
The orchestra has been nearly a year in the making, and was the brainchild of local conductor Leslie Olive:
Their first concert consisted of 30 players, with 11 teenagers from the county getting to join the professionals on stage as part of the orchestra’s commitment to education:
Education and community are key elements to the orchestra. For the inaugural concert, music projects were launched in eight schools.
Leslie’s ambition is for the orchestra to hold seven major concerts, as well as smaller performances in towns and villages, every year. That’s expected to cost nearly £250,000.
So far the orchestra have raised more than £20,000 through donations and grants from groups like the Arts Council England as well as local businesses – some of whom have sponsored a player directly:
The inaugural performance included solos from Thomas Gould, Benjamin Hulett and Martin Owen.