The Executive Committee present
their report with the financial statements of the orchestra for the year
ended 31st December 2013.
met regularly during the year to deal with the necessary business.
There was a total of 36
members (28 playing members, 4 non-playing members and four patrons),
compared to 39 the previous year.
Tom Patton, Christine
Gill, Tom Kitchen and John Feechan left the orchestra, and we thank them
for their service and friendship.
Fiona Cockling joined
the clarinet section and
John Lennox (Vice President) returned home from Sri Lanka.
Annual General Meeting
- Wednesday 20th March 2013.
existing committee members were re-elected and Dr. Chris May
re-appointed as auditor.
programmes continued to offer different themes in order to provide
music which would appeal
to as wide a cross-section of the public as possible,
as well as providing a
challenge to the musicians.
In March, the
Spring Symphony Concert featured the Grieg Piano Concerto with Alison
Gill, from Hartlepool, as soloist. A Steinway piano was hired in for
the occasion. Also on the
programme was Symphony No. 8 by Dvorak - this
being only the second time
the orchestra has performed a complete symphony.
received an invitation to perform a ‘Last Night of the Proms’
type of concert in
the Herrington Country Park, Sunderland, as part of a weekend long
series of events to mark ‘Armed Forces Day’, in June. A decision was
made to regard this as our Summer concert and to cancel the previously
arranged date at West Park Church, which should have been on the
Performing in a marquee
(which was also the beer tent) against a background of fairground noise
was far from satisfactory.
The October concert
followed a different format to that previously used, and featured eight
of the orchestra’s members as soloists (or duettists), performing with
In December, the
Christmas concert featured the ‘Castletown Community Choir’ from
Castletown, Sunderland. The choir had approximately 60 members: There
were 40 children from the Castletown Primary School, together with
teachers and parents.
The orchestra extends
grateful thanks to the visiting musicians who played in each concert,
when there were otherwise vacant desks.
Ray Farr, our Musical
Director for the last four years, announced his intention to stand down
from this position following the Christmas concert. Ray has served the
orchestra with distinction, and the event was marked by him being
presented with an inscribed vase at the end of the Christmas concert. We
wish him every success in his new role as Associate Conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band – one of the most prestigious and well known
brass bands in the country.
Taking over from Ray,
is Paul Judson, who currently plays bassoon in the orchestra, and who
has been acting as Assistant Conductor for some time. Paul is a founder
member of the orchestra, and made his career in the army as a
Filming of concerts
One of our Patrons,
Peter Andrews, recorded the October and Christmas concerts on video, so
as to give us some record of the events.
The recording of the
October concert was put on to DVD and made available to the members.
Several of the soloist’s performances can be viewed on ‘YouTube’.
It is hoped to place
some suitable excerpts from these recordings on the orchestra’s web site
in due course.
Two editions of the orchestra's
newsletter were produced during the year. These were distributed to
interested parties and are available for viewing on the website.
The orchestra still has
difficulty in persuading a small number of ‘members’ to pay their
The Sunderland City
Council continued to support the Society through the Community Chest,
but other grant applications were unsuccessful.
An arrangement with the
local Co-Operative Society whereby customers voted for the charity of
their choice (from a list of three), provided a very welcome sum of
£420.00 from the total of £1000.00 available. We thank the Co-Op for
providing the opportunity to assist us in this way.
The orchestra’s web site
This continued to be a
popular source of information with the public, judging by the number of
queries and comments received.
The Sunderland Echo
gave only minimal publicity regarding our concerts.
A ‘Facebook’ page was
opened on the Internet and is supervised by tuba player Colin Harding.
Whether this will prove to be of any benefit to the orchestra has yet to
The orchestra again collaborated with the Sunderland University. This
time, some music was recorded as background for a documentary film which
was being produced. Photography and recording took place in West Park
Church and involved seventeen members of the string section together
with the Musical Director. The Film Director and the composer of the
music were present and photographed with the players.
A ‘Salon Orchestra’ has been formed from within the membership, to offer
a function entertainment service, with the aim of being available to
play at corporate and other events. Paul Judson is co-ordinating and
leading this group.
The first performance by the group was at the Castletown Primary School,
Sunderland, as guests at their ‘Castletown Christmas’ concert.
The Orchestra once
again extends grateful thanks to all the people and groups who have
supported its activities over the past year. The volunteer help given by
so many is greatly appreciated. Special thanks must be given to the
members of West Park Church for help given in many ways throughout the
David E Mills, Joy Lowther, Brian
Peter Chapman, Kathleen
A. Mills, Sue
Sweeney, Lynne Dakers.
here to return to Annual