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  • Scarborough
  • 13-06-2017 11:44:37


With the summer season now falling into its usual pattern, life becomes fairly hectic for the members of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra.

For most weeks until the middle of September, they will be playing nine concerts a week, and all of them completely different.  In fact it is unlikely that they will repeat any programme in its entirety throughout the season.

The work really began earlier in the year when the Musical Director and the Music Librarian met to plan the season and engage the singers.  This always becomes quite a complicated jigsaw as they try to fit together the concert themes, the singers’ availability and the dates when themes and singers can coincide.

The ten members of the UK’s only remaining professional seaside orchestra come together in Scarborough at the beginning of June for a rehearsal day, and then the season is off.

On Sunday mornings there is a 30 minute meeting to talk through the 11am concert’s programme.  If there are new or deputy players, the talk through has to be very precise so that everyone knows exactly how to find their way through all of as many as fifteen pieces of music.  Sunday morning audiences are always large and enthusiastic because admission is reduced to ‘Pay What You Like’.

After a quick lunch, the orchestra members are back to the band room for another talk through of the pieces in the afternoon concert – all quite different from the music played in the morning.

The mornings from Monday to Thursday follow the same pattern, the only difference being that Thursday morning concerts are made up of audience requests.  This means that Wednesday afternoon for the programmer is a race to time all the requests and arrange them into a concert of the required length, making sure that there is a good balance between long and short, fast and slow, quiet and louder pieces.

Monday evening shows alternate between themed programmes and general selections of light music when orchestra members step to the front of the stage to entertain with often spectacular solo pieces of their choice.  Wednesday evenings provide Melodies For You.

Thursday evenings are traditionally gala concerts, often with visiting singers and always on a special theme.  The performance on 15 June will be devoted to the sort of music for which the Spa Orchestra has become famous – the very best of all kinds of light music, with the accent on good tunes and excellent entertainment.

Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Spa Box Office (01723) 821888 or via www.scarboroughspa.co.uk

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