What a great evening. The children did us proud and performed their hearts out. I was lovely to be able to include the two junior orchestra members who turned up in with the others as their solo piece would have been so empty with five of them absent this evening.

Great solos from Ed and Grace. So good that youngsters are volunteering solos. Lots of solo offers for the summer concerts : We shall be in for a treat at Powderham Castle and Connaught Gardrns.

Many lovely comments from audience members and lots of new faces in the crowd too.

See you all in on 30th April. We'll done!

As we gear up for our spring concert this weekend we start to get the usual calls regarding conflicting commitments with other societies or school activities or the dreaded C word.

Exhibit A (percussionist) spent 2 hours in A&E after attempting trampolining in the dark. Teenagers, eh? Fortunately not broken but they can no longer work the peddles on the timpani so I'll have to waffle a bit while someone changes them between pieces.

Good luck to our Junior Orchestra who will be playing 2 pieces in the concert this term and to Ed and Grace who will both be playing solos to help break up the programme.

Congratulations also to Ed for his starring role in his school's performance of Matilda the Musical. He was Miss Trunchball. We are hoping you will reprise the singing role in the summer in a concert?

Do please come and see us at 18:30 on Saturday 2nd April 22 at St Thomas' Methodist Church, Exeter. It's going to be a great evening and the larger the audience the more more the young people play out (and occasionally up).

First concert of 2022! And we are off to a Flying Start with the youth orchestra performing at St Michael’s Church in Teignmouth as part of their regular appearance in the Teignmouth Classical Music Festival.

We got there a little early so while our willing roadies warmed up at the back of the church, Rob took the opportunity for a kip in the van he hired (he does so like vans).

We had a great rehearsal and the acoustics in the church are fantastic. Ideal for small orchestras. We were soon able to disperse and explore Teignmouth and for the most part enjoy our food on the sea front without being mugged by the local seagull population for our food. Perhaps next year we will play Highlights from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull.

During the concert we were joined by a couple of toddlers who enthusiastically helped us on triangle and drum with the Themes from the 1812 Overture. The “Cannon” played on our 5’ bass drum made them jump when we fired it.

During the concert we were delighted to listen to solos from Raph on Clarinet. Raph is a diploma level clarinettist who is with us for just a year and also from Amelia on Piano. Both pieces were beautiful and during Amelia’s solo Rob escorted a little girl from the audience to come and stand nearby so she could watch Amelia play. She was entranced and didn’t notice when he waved his hand in front of her face.

The concert was also a first outing for our new Tuba player, Oli who has joined us this term and it was fantastic to have more ‘body’ in the bass of the music – something we have struggled with for a few years. We have since gained a brass tutor “G” who plays Trombone and you can now feel the bass parts vibrating up through the floor as we play.

All too soon it was time to go home and we squeeeeeeeezed all the percussion into the van (if you are in the know we need LWB vans not SWB) and a crowd of parents and church goers helped guide Rob as he reversed round a tight corner known for shredding tyres and through a granite gate only 2 inches wider than the van’s folded mirrors. Rob says that was by far more stressful than concerts (mainly because he actually likes it when something disastrously funny happens mid programme).

The youth orchestra have already been invited back for next year so Rob is getting his thinking hat on.