Musicians young and old perform special concert to mark 50 years of the Manx Youth Orchestra

The Manx Youth Orchestra has commemorated its 50th anniversary with a special concert performed by both current and former members.

Around 200 current members and 70 former members united for a night of music and celebration reflecting on the last half century.

Juan Wright, the Island's Music Service’s Musical Director said: "Over the last 50 years the orchestra has inspired so many young musicians to gain valuable playing experience, which has enabled them to enjoy the challenge and camaraderie of music making into their adult lives, often professionally or with local groups".

The orchestra performed at the Villa Marina in Douglas on the Isle of Man. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Also returning for the concert was one of the founding members of the orchestra, Bernard Osborne.

He described the concert as "very special" and spoke fondly of the different tours the orchestra used to go on.

Including a particularly memorable moment at Moscow Airport, he said: "We discovered that our plane had gone without us and so we decided to have an impromptu play in the actual airport. All the children got out their instruments and started playing".

Mr Osborne conducted during the finale of the concert.

The orchestra performing an impromptu concert at Moscow Airport. Credit: Manx Youth Orchestra

The orchestra first performed as a group at Park Road School in 1972 and have since represented the Isle of Man on tours around the world.

Various former members have also gone on to have their own careers in music.

Georgina McChesney played oboe in the orchestra in the 1980s and now lives in Northern Ireland.

She said: "It’s a huge honour to travel back to my home and take part in this mammoth reunion concert. It feels like I’m 17 again".

The group is run by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and is made up of musicians aged between six to 19.