Blowing our own trumpet since 1931
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Bryan Western

BRYAN WESTERN

The Spring 2015 concert is a very special occasion for Bryan: it is a celebration of his 30th year concert with the orchestra. The orchestra in the early days was the Harrogate Chamber Orchestra and concerts were held initially in the Crescent and Parliament rooms, followed later by performances in the Lounge Hall. These were always well attended and greeted enthusiastically by audiences. As more and more players arrived, programmes gradually changed to cater for the larger ensemble, delving into romantic and sometimes modern idioms. It was clear that the members wanted to try some larger scaled works. As a result, the name of the orchestra changed in 1990 to the Harrogate Symphony Orchestra and since then, the size of the group has increased beyond recognition. Consequently programmes have been completely revised.

Having retired (albeit a little early) from his post as Head of Music and Advanced Skills Teacher at King James’s School in Knaresborough. He has taught locally since 1976, initially at The High (Granby) School for 14 years and then for 20 years at Knaresborough. His job also enabled him to work with primary and secondary schools children and staff throughout North Yorkshire. Bryan comments “As Musical Director I have the easy job of rehearsing and bringing the music together, but without the wonderful rapport with the players that exists, HSO concerts would not be what they are… and the response of the audience is paramount here. We are privileged to have such a warm and inviting group of supporters that we are able to relax and enjoy our music making. All we need now is for you to encourage friends and family to come and enjoy what the HSO do best: perform quality music that we all can enjoy”.

Concert programming is of paramount importance, stimulating players and audiences alike: exciting and innovatory programmes that are becoming the signature of the HSO. World premiers abound and soloists of the highest quality are a regular feature of concerts. The results: much larger audiences and an ever-increasing membership. One of the main focuses of the HSO is to introduce music to wider audiences, especially the young. The results: a performances by children in our South American concert in March 2013 followed by a children’s matinee concert in June 2013 with a puppeteer from the BBC Muppet Show. Fundraising for charities has always been a feature of concerts too, with the last event raising over £3,700 for the “No Strings” charity. Concerts to be given outside Harrogate are being introduced to celebrate the HSO achievements and to keep everyone up to date with exciting developments, Bryan produces the HSO Newsletter (available on our website: www.harrogateorchestra.org.uk).

Bryan has been featured in the Harrogate Advertiser and Yorkshire Post: extensive profiles to celebrate his involvement with the HSO and his invitation to conduct The Amadeus Chamber Orchestra in Buenos Aries. Following this success, he has accepted an open invitation to return to South America in the near future. He was really overwhelmed in October 2010 to be presented a Fellowship award by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. The Paul Harris Fellow was awarded in “appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world” and in particular for his exceptional services to the community. He is also founder and Musical Director of the Nidderdale Community Orchestra. Since 2011, a group of committed and enthusiastic players, some of whom have not played their instrument for over 25 years, get together once a week to rehearse and give concerts in the Pateley Bridge area.