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Todmorden Orchestra shed new light on Town Hall, by Bill Hunter

Todmorden Orchestra's new concert lighting shed light on parts of its decoration not normally seen at concerts, and on the players' scores

Todmorden Orchestra's new concert lighting shed light on parts of its decoration not normally seen at concerts, and on the players' scores

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of Todmorden Orchestra at its traditional home in the magnificent Town Hall.

As a new era approaches, work is now complete to provide players and audience with a bright future, never achieved in the last century.

The new image has been made possible using state of the art technology giving the musicians lighting on their stands equal to levels found at professional orchestra venues. An added bonus was revealed however when the lights were switched on for the first time at the recent Spring concert on March 15. Suddenly the hall’s unique ceiling was brought to life in all its glorious colours and ornate design.

The transformation was made possible by talented lighting designer David Linville-Boud, supported by members and friends of the orchestra. He was faced with the problem of providing overhead light from a ceiling in a Grade I listed building that could not be altered in any way. Lower level lights, kindly lent by the Pennine Spring Music Festival, failed to provide the answer in the large area.

The inspiration came as David pondered the problem during an earlier concert. After many calculations and computer modelling, he decided the solution was to use reflected light from the ceiling to cover the playing area below. He also planned to achieve results without glare or distraction to audience or players, that would enhance the whole environment during performances.

This worked using concealed asymmetric floodlights. They were mounted on specially designed pedestals, based on classical style, positioned securely at the side of the hall, clear of pedestrian access and projecting light all the way to the high ceiling.

When the last note sounded and the applause ended, arrangements were on hand to dismantle the system and place it into storage until future concerts. Anyone who wants to see the enhanced hall and enjoy outstanding music is welcome when they are next used. Coming up soon: Choral Society and Orchestra; Brahms German Requiem; and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (April 13).

 

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