Sep 22 2010 Harrow Observer
THIS weekend one of Harrow's most prestigious orchestras celebrates its 30th birthday with the start of a commemorative season of concerts. DAVID BAKER spoke to members of the community orchestra to learn how it has progressed in the three decades since its first performance
WHEN Trinity Church in Harrow celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1980 with an orchestral performance, it was intended to be a one-off concert.
But the then organist at the church, John Craven, could not have envisaged, having pulled a few favours from friends and known musicians for the birthday celebrations, that the orchestra would flourish quite like it did.
Since then, Trinity Orchestra has put on at least six performances a year, created lasting friendships and more.
When flautist Kenneth Bell joined in 1982 it not only gave him an opportunity to showcase his musical talent, but introduced him to his future wife, Alison, an oboist and founding member.
The pair have performed in the orchestra together ever since and encouraged other family members to join.
Mr Bell, of Radnor Road, Harrow, said: "The orchestra has always been a very sociable and family orientated group, which is fantastic. Recently our daughter Fiona graduated with a first in music from Leeds University and she has been able to join the orchestra too, playing the cello.
"It has been great for us to perform together, and at one stage Alison's mother [also a cellist] performed with the three of as well. It is a very close knit group and I think it has lasted so long because the standard and quality is so high and challenging for everyone."
Other couples and mother and daughters make up the 80-piece orchestra, and chairman Keith Grout says this is testament to the 'community feel' of the group.
The 58-year-old violist, of The Crescent, South Harrow, said: "Although we occasionally play outside Harrow and there are now members from all over the place, we have always been very much grounded in the borough.
"We have been lucky to have some great conductors and musicians over the years and it is fantastic to be celebrating 30 years."
The orchestra's concert season starts at Trinity Church, in Hindes
Road, at 7pm on Saturday, with a premiere of Bugle by Nick White, a student of composition at the Royal College of Music.
The season will continue throughout 2010/11 with concerts planned for November 20, January 29, March 19, May 14 and June 25.
For more information about Saturday's concert or any of Trinity Orchestra's forthcoming concerts, visit www.trinityorchestra.org.uk . To book tickets call the box office on 020 8428 5924.