Orchestra news archive

Old news of the orchestra, giving a flavour of our activities.

Vacancy for musical director

We are currently advertising for a new Musical Director, as our current Musical Director, Jenny Barrie, will be leaving her position with the Leamington Sinfonia after the March 2 2013 concert.

We wish you a merry Christmas!

The latest concert for the orchestra (well, some of it) was for a function at Wroxall Abbey, where a very festive time was had by all. Most of the orchestra turned out to squeeze into the Wren Chapel where we played for carols after dinner: the audience was in fine voice and the chilly temperatures did nothing to dampen the festive mood.

Wroxall Abbey 2012 Christmas concert Wroxall Abbey 2012 Christmas concert

Concert review

There's a review of our concert on 1 December 2012 in the Leamington Courier.

Bold efforts in chilly Leamington concert

Published on Tuesday 4 December 2012 11:00

Leamington Sinfonia, Holy Trinity church, Leamington, December 1.

As winds from Russia dropped temperatures in Leamington, Sinfonia continued their ambitious programming with works by two Russians - Borodin and Glazunov, both born in St Petersburg.

French horns in the hands of Rebecca Grier and Martin Eyles excelled in Weber's Overture to Euryanthe, with conductor Jenny Barrie leading matters to a lively climax. Remarkably, she has completed 28 years in charge and, somewhat reluctantly, is now making plans to hand on the baton after the concert at Kingsley School on Saturday March 2, featuring Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with Simon Ballard and Schumann's Rhenish Symphony - she deserves a full house that night.

Borodin's First Symphony is a mammoth work and fully stretched the Sinfonia skills. With a cello section depleted through illness, it was left to Edward oothroyd to galvanise the violin sections and Alex Morris and John Cullington to fire up the wind section.

Glazunov wrote the music for his ballet The Seasons in 1899, inviting Marius Petipa to provide the choreography. The music demonstrates Glazunov's talent for orchestral colour and gift for melody. Flute interventions by Alison Grundy and Rachel Misson sparkled in Winter, gorgeous sounds from Jenny Broome's harp lifted spirits in Spring. Throughout Autumn's harvest celebrations, the fear of the onset of Winter returned.

Another very bold Leamington Sinfonia effort.

Clive Peacock
courtesy of Leamingtoncourier.co.uk.

Orchestra tour 2012

On Thursday 1st November 2012, a group of 34 from the Leamington Sinfonia (including a few of our fan club) flew to Dusseldorf to stay with Sinfonieorchester Wermelskirchen and their families for three nights, with a joint concert on Saturday 3rd November, before flying home the next day. The Wermelskirchen orchestra organised a very full programme for us including a day out in Cologne, a visit to a local castle with a short hike for the more energetic, and rehearsal time together with lots of social activities for the two orchestras. We are very grateful to Sinfonieorchester Wermelskirchen for asking us to come and stay, and hope very much to have a return visit next year.

Tour poster

We had a lovely time (many thanks to our hosts), and we even made it into the German press!

"Musik kennt keine Grenzen" - Remscheid General-Anzeiger.

Q: So what do you remember from the trip to Wermelskirchen?

Alex: Waking up to the delightfully deep and dulcet tones of Malcolm whispering 'good morning darling'.... :-)
Anna: I'm very happy with my new boar hairbrush!
Anne: Such fun and laughter - best sleepover in years.
Anton: Joining in a general sing song in a bar till the small hours with our hosts. The atmosphere was so friendly.
Callie: I particularly enjoyed the welcome I received with my host family who catered for my every need. And acting as my personal guide!
Christiania: Alex feeding the German baby apfelmuss in the restaurant, with accompanying train going into tunnel noises (amplified by beer!)
Edward: The LS tour to Wermelskirchen was a true cultural exchange, as our German hosts were so open, friendly and generous, and we enjoyed a superb joint concert that was really well received because the atmosphere reflected a joining together in the musical experience.
Eleanor: Long, lazy breakfasts with our most generous hosts, looking out of the big windows in their beautiful home and having wonderful conversations over lots of coffee.
Heather (& Malcolm): I enjoyed making music, - good experience playing with a German Orchestra. Pomp & Circumstance made quite a sound!
Helen: I thought that the Roman Museum in Cologne was the best I've ever seen. I had no idea that the Roman city was so extensive.
Jenny: A very nice, easy trip, because Isabel and her committee did so much of the work! (Oh, and Malcolm saying to Zoe in the German restaurant, eyeing up her food... "How are your dumplings, Zoe?")
Joyce (& Gordon): Dieter (our host) speaking to Gordon in a German/Yorkshire accent saying,' I'm gunna merk ya a loovvly koop o' Yorkshire tea Ladd!!' as he welcomed us!! Tee Hee!!! It was a privilege to be part of such a gorgeous adventure.
Karin: Danke fuer Eure wunderbare Gastfreundschaft!
Ken: Clean fresh air and a nice walk with the dog and Alfred through the woods - a nice start to the day!
Klara: Had an amazing time with our new German friends. Thank you for our massive & delicious pretzels.))
Malcolm: A most generous array of enticing food ready for us when we first arrived at PZ, and especially the naughty desserts after the concert!
Mandy (& Edwin): Great cultural experience and super company!
Martin: Amazingly generous hospitality from our host family
Mary (& Chris): My favourite bit by far was when our hosts took us to see the Altenberger cathedral on the Sunday morning. Really beautiful and in lovely grounds. Both catholic and protestant services take place there at different times. That particular Sunday they were celebrating St Hubert, patron saint of hunting and there was a group of horn players performing a small concert in the grounds.
Michael Lee: I'll never forget a hall full of Germans singing 'Land of hope and glory'!
Mike: My abiding memory is the hospitality that was shown to us by our hosts - Ekkehard and Marianne - and in particular the sumptuous breakfast feasts they prepared for us, looking out over a misty valley, with orange and green sheep grazing in the field below.
Phillipa (& Mary): Thank you for your fantastic organisation, kind hosts and wonderful cake in Cologne!
Rachel: Thanks to the generosity of our host, we finished the weekend with a memorable visit to beautiful Altenberg Cathedral, where horn bands were playing in the Mass of St Hubertus, the patron saint of hunters.
Sarah (& Martyn): Listening to the recording that Martyn made of Land of Hope and Glory. The combined orchestras did a stunning job!
Stan (& Pam): At the pub, complete Anglo-German fraternity was demonstrated with Alex, dive bombing spoonfuls of apple sauce into hungry little Soehnke's mouth, captured perfectly by Ekkehard's photograph.
Zoe: Having lunch on Sunday with our host, Baerbel around her kitchen table after a very interesting sight seeing tour of a nearby town that she arranged for us, an amazing lady who cooks wonderful food, and I have grown very fond of her.

The photos below were taken during the trip by Ekkehard Lehnert, to whom we are most grateful.

Lunch at the brewery in Cologne
Lunch at the brewery in Cologne.

Rehearsal shot
During a rehearsal.

Rehearsal shot
During a rehearsal.

Leamington Sinfonia in concert
Leamington Sinfonia's contribution to the concert.

The two conductors
The two conductors.

The two orchestras
The two orchestras.

Giant pretzels
We were all given giant pretzels as we left.

Our leader
Our leader.

Bassoons