23 May 2020

History cont...

The first, Frederick Facer, was choirmaster at Primrose Hill Church and took responsibility for the band at its formation. He was followed in the early twenties by Edward Hull who was the first to conduct the orchestra when it became independent; he conducted for only a short period before moving on to become a professional musician.

In 1999 it underwent another name change and became the Northampton Concert Orchestra; again, reflecting the range and style of music that the orchestra was then playing. Somewhat unique to this orchestra is that throughout its long history it has only had five conductors.

Monica resigned as conductor in September 2006 after 27 years but continued as deputy and a player. David Chambers was then appointed as conductor. David, an accomplished musician, was already well known locally; not least as Musical Director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

From initially playing church music, the repertoire of the orchestra now includes light classical works, music from the shows, ballet and opera music and contemporary easy listening pieces. Over the years it has built up a unique and comprehensive library of over 700 full orchestral sets to which new music is constantly being added. Under the baton of the current Conductor (David Chambers), Deputy (Alan Gibson), Leader (Mike Gosling), Chairman (Tanya Hayes) and all playing members, the orchestra remains as vigorous as ever and determined to continue providing concerts of enjoyable music and support for charity and voluntary organisations. If music be the food of love, play on !

In 1926, Leonard Andrews then picked up the baton and was to conduct the orchestra until his death in 1979; an impressive run of 53 years. Monica Coles then became conductor and, under her influence, standards continued to improve together with an increase in the number of concerts performed each year.