Preparing for new challenge

WITH echoes of Beethoven's great Ninth Symphony still fresh in their memory the Todmorden Orchestra players are preparing for fresh challenges under their new conductor next season, writes Bill Hunter.

Nicholas Concannon Hodges met the orchestra members for their first working session when they began rehearsals for the Autumn concert which will be performed on November 11 in the Todmorden Town Hall.

This will include Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5 with Soloist Lynne Wadsworth and the Symphony No. 1 by Shostakovitch.

Nick, who is currently based in London, has ten years experience as a professional violinist and has changed his career to conducting. As a conductor he has worked with a number of orchestras, amateur and professional in London. He is relocating in the Manchester area early next year.

Shortly before picking up the baton for the first time in Todmorden he said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Todmorden Orchestra and I am looking forward to developing a good relationship with the orchestra and to helping it to become an even more integrated part of Todmorden life.”

Nick who studied at the Royal College of Music began conducting studies in 1998 and went on to conduct orchestras in Italy, Holland, Sweden, Ireland and the Czech Republic. As a violinist he performed with many freelance ensembles and has also worked with a number of youth orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland.

Musicians, especially string players who want to join in the new era involving your local orchestra, can meet the orchestra on Tuesday evenings in the Methodist Church hall, Bramsche Square at 7.30 pm.

“Joining any organisation for can be something of an ordeal, especially that first step. We guarantee you will be given a warm and friendly welcome,” said a spokesman.

You can also contact the secretary Jennifer Moorhouse by phone on 01706 81733 or email - and the orchestra is also keen to attract the support of new patrons.