Uckfield musicians tour Europe’s cities

ESYO Friends chairman Nigel Philips presents cheque to manager Malcolm Warnes with musicians
ESYO Friends chairman Nigel Philips presents cheque to manager Malcolm Warnes with musicians

Four young people from Uckfield joined fellow musicians as members of an East Sussex orchestra entertaining audiences across Europe, and closer to home, this summer.

Camilla Compton, 20, Harvey Hall, 22, John Hinchliffe, 24, and Eleanor Watson, 20, are members of the East Sussex Youth Orchestra which has just returned from a whirlwind tour of Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Their initial performance was on Saturday, July 26 at the De La Warr pavilion in Bexhill to help raise funds for Hastings Lifeboat Station.

On Wednesday, July 30 the young instrumentalists left the Lewes Performing Arts Centre en route to Calais and then on to Leipzig in Germany.

After a day at leisure and guided tours of the city they performed in the Festsaal at Bad Schmiedeberg. On August 2 they transferred to Prague, viewed Prague Castle and met at Wenceslav Square for a flash mob performance. The following day saw them travel to Olomouc, perform in Krommeriz Chateau, an historic castle in the eastern provinces of the Czech Republic, and then move on to Bratislava for a concert in the Slovak Radio Hall.

The tour finished on Tuesday, August 5.

The orchestra, which is the flagship ensemble of the East Sussex Music Service, has been boosted by the presentation of £8,000 raised by the Friends of the Youth Orchestra through fund-raising activities over the past year.

Richard Sigsworth, acting head of the East Sussex Music Service, said: “The orchestra brings together talented teenagers and young people from across the county and has earned a deservedly high reputation for the energy and enthusiasm with which it delivers its classical repertoire.

“The orchestra wouldn’t be able to entertain so many people were it not for the efforts of the Friends, who have worked tirelessly again this year to raise much-needed funds.

“The concert in Bexhill was an ideal opportunity, both for existing classical music fans and people who wanted to sample something new, to enjoy a thoroughly entertaining night and to help the orchestra celebrate its 35th birthday.”

Among the music played, in Bexhill and on the European tour, were Mahler’s First Symphony, de Falla’s ‘El Sombrero de tres picos’ (the Three Cornered Hat;) Suk’s ‘Scherzo Fantastique, the ballet music from Holst’s ‘The Perfect Fool’ and Strauss’s First French Horn Concerto.

Past performances have taken place at Glyndebourne, The Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and St John’s, Smith Square and across Europe.