Rochdale Youth Orchestra Christmas Spectacular
Date published: 13 December 2008
Rochdale Youth Orchestra Christmas Spectacular - Georgina Bennett
The Rochdale Youth Orchestra (RYO) Christmas Spectacular at the Gracie Fields Theatre saw a number of new players make their debut for the Orchestra's Christmas showpiece.
In a programme packed with musical entertainment, including a finale of Christmas Carols with audience participation, the Orchestra, in the presence of the Mayor Robin Parker, Mayoress Ann Jones and Heywood & Middleton MP Jim Dobbin and wife Pat, showed again the depth of young musical talent the Borough of Rochdale enjoys.
The evening began with the RYO Juniors, conducted by Sue Verity and led by Ygraine Siemens, opening with Stop the Cavalry, When the Boat Comes In and Shubert's Cradle Song before it was time for the first carol, Away in a Manger.
Next was a piece written by former youth orchestra member Joel Harding, specially for the Orchestra, Our Gracie, followed by The Snowman.
After the audience had joined in with Silent Night the juniors finished their set with Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Merry Christmas Everybody.
Special guests for the night were on stage next, Oulder Hill Voices, with their Musical Director Janet Tilney and Accompanists, Phil Reynolds and Steph Ball.
The choir has recently been filming for the Waterloo Road TV programme and gave a sneak preview of what to expect when the programme is aired by singing two songs they were recorded singing as part of a 'Last Choir Standing': We Can Rule The World and Heaven Knows.
In the midst of the choir's set came a quite superb solo of Bring Him Home, from Les Miserables, sung with passion and talent by 16-year-old Adam O'Shea, whose powerful voice brought the house down.
Following the interval it was the turn of the Senior Orchestra, conducted by Greg Banks and led by Rebecca Baines. Their programme consisted of Joyeuse Marche, Symphonic Suite from the Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Christmas Cracker, and a stirring James Bond Medley, clearly enjoyed by the Orchestra as much as the audience.
On stage for the finale were both Junior and Senior Orchestra along with the Oulder Hill Voices to lead the audience in a quartet of Christmas carols: Once in Royal David's City, The First Noel, O Come All Ye Faithful and ending an excellent set with We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
Junior Orchestra conductor and veteran committee member Sue Verity thanked the company now running the Gracie Fields Theatre, Operon, for their generous support in providing the concert venue and rehearsal venue free of charge. Mrs Verity also has further cause for joy this weekend as she revealed she is celebrating her ruby wedding anniversary with husband Richard - family had joined them from all over the country to share the weekend, including the evenings entertainment from the Rochdale Youth Orchestra Mrs Verity has done so much for over many years.
Ygraine Siemens (Leader)
Lily A Butterworth
Rebecca Baines (Leader)