Jersey Symphony Orchestra bids farewell to its conductor

Hilary Davan Wetton's farewell concert
After five years in the role Hilary Davan-Wetton is retiring as conductor for Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey Symphony Orchestra (JSO) is holding a final farewell concert for their retiring conductor, Hilary Davan-Wetton on Saturday 6 April.

A sold-out concert held at Les Quennevais School will mark the last time, Mr Davan-Wetton leads the group after five years in the role.

Reflecting on his time as conductor he said: "It has been a privilege and I'm visibly not a young conductor and therefore, I only do things I enjoy doing at this stage of my career.

"But, I have very much enjoyed making friendships with this group."

JSO Leader, Martin Smith said: "They broke the mould when they made Hilary.

"He is witty, incisive, energizing, he also has a huge and long-standing commitment to community music making to keeping the art form alive."

The JSO's President, Nicholas Cabot added: "He has been invaluable with his advice on all sorts of matters, we will miss him."

During his time as conductor, Mr Davan-Wetton has nurtured many aspiring musicians.

Rebecca Arthur, a 19-year-old flautist with the JSO said: "It's been such a pleasure to work with someone so passionate about the same thing as me.

"I actually have a great interest in conducting, so it's been really amazing to work with someone that's so fluid with it and has such a love for it."

Despite facing a challenging few years, Mr Davan-Wetton said his final concert will be "a special moment".

He said: "I've had a lovely time with the orchestra, we were seriously damaged by covid like so many orchestras up and down the country and indeed all over the world."

The JSO puts on three concerts a year and is comprised of both local musicians and visiting professionals, Mr Davan-Wetton said: "I don't know another orchestra like the JSO in that way."

He added: "The wonderful thing about it is there is no sense of status, there is a sense of friendship."