Manx Youth Orchestra to mark 50th anniversary with special concert

 
The Manx Youth Orchestra (MYO) will be joined on stage by more than 70 former players and conductors in Douglas next week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first concert.

The orchestra has given thousands of talented young musicians a platform to perform, improve and travel since its first performance at Park Road School in 1972.

The musical extravaganza will get under way at the Villa Marina at 7.30pm on Tuesday and include classical and modern pieces, as well as crowd pleasers from the last five decades.

Ex-members, many of whom have gone on to have careers in music, were sent a rallying call earlier this year, with scores agreeing to dust off their instruments and get involved.

Georgina McChesney, who played oboe in the orchestra in the 1980s and now lives in Northern Ireland, 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.’ Violist Simon Bradley, who is traveling from London, added: ‘It will be a very special night.’

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture run orchestra is made up of around 200 young musicians, aged six to 19, who have all achieved grades on their instrument. 

Juan Wright, the Music Service’s Musical Director, will conduct the orchestra on Tuesday, said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate the past 50 years through what we love best, music. 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.’

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘The MYO has given hundreds of young musicians a place to perform, make friends and travel, through a shared love of music and I am delighted that so many are returning for this special occasion.’

The MYO was established after inspirational performances by the National Youth Orchestra and the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra on the Island and has represented the Isle of Man around the world on concert tours and festivals in places.
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