SEPTEMBER 8TH 2022
In November I shall be 84 years old. When I was 48 years old back in 1982 I didn't expect to reach such an age, and to have spent twenty years in retirement from parochial ministry enabling me to achieve one or two of the musical goals I have been able to set myself when leaving the Vicarage in Chadderton to come to Rochdale.
The musical goals have included the founding of the Rochdale Light Orchestra in 2008. In response to a public invitation to local musicians to come along to a meeting to see if there was enough interest in such a project, a sufficient number of enthusiastic instrumentalists came along and agreed to get together on a regular basis to rehearse and perform music of a mainly light-hearted nature.
We met in the upper room at St. Martin's Church, Castleton Moor, at the invitation of the Vicar, the Revd. Ian Butterworth, and the blessing of the Parochial Church Council. There were about a dozen of us then, including some young players who inevitably moved away to various colleges of further education within a few years. Some older players are still with us, and the whole group of regular players now numbers sixteen, with three or four others joining us from time to time to make for a reasonably balanced ensemble for concert purposes.
I make the bulk of the arrangements myself with an eye and ear to producing the most satisfying overall sound. This can be very challenging, since we play music from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries - "Bach to Boogie and Beyond". The players we have prove themselves to be very adaptable, I'm delighted to say!
We are looking forward to our next concert, which will be on Wednesday, October 5th, in St. Michael's church, Bamford, where we have now been rehearsing and performing since we could no longer do so in Castleton. Details can be found on the orchestra's website: www.rochdalelightorchestra.org .
I'll be adding to this very shortly.......