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  • Scarborough
  • Matthew Oxtoby
  • 24-07-2018 09:42:03

The Scarborough Spa Orchestra’s summer season of concerts has already reached its half-way point, which means that they will have played no fewer than 70 concerts, and no two concerts have been the same. 

This feat is due to the Orchestra’s vast library of music and to the careful programming which makes sure that, as far as possible, no piece of music is repeated within a four week cycle. 

There are exceptions, the main one being each Thursday morning’s request concert when the programme is made up entirely of audience favourites and dedications which have been requested during the previous days.

To achieve this amazing record, the Spa Orchestra members will have played between 700 and 800 different pieces of music by the time the season ends in September.

No other orchestra in the country, including all the big national and international orchestras, would be expected to have the versatility to cope with such a huge repertoire. 

Visiting musicians who occasionally deputise for regular Orchestra members can hardly believe the demands made on the players. 

And it’s not just the amount of music they have to master, it’s also the very different styles.  Traditional light music mixes with ragtime, Dixie, famous marches, Strauss waltzes and polkas, songs from the shows, well-known movie soundtracks, tv and radio theme tunes and occasional dips into favourite classical pieces.

The next Wednesday evening gala performance (1st August) will concentrate on popular light music that might fall into the theme of In The Mood. 

All the music will be in celebration of the great numbers from the dance band era.  As the show’s title might suggest, there will be a major tribute to Glenn Miller in the programme. 

Upbeat numbers will contrast with slower, more schmaltzy pieces.  One of the highlights will be clarinettist Graham Quilter’s brilliant performance of Artie Shaw’s fantastic jazz clarinet concerto. 

This is the concert for anyone who likes a good tune, and for anyone else who thought that the word orchestra meant something starchy, stuffy and serious. 

They are all in for a very pleasant surprise and an extremely entertaining, toe-tapping evening of popular music.


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