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Windsor Community Orchestra

New members' area launched

Memer area

The member's login page

It's just over a year since we launched our new web site. It's been updated a few times since then to make the content clearer and easier to access. Our most recent update has included a members' area. This is accessible for members only and allows us to distribute sound files for the pieces, recordings and scores from this web site. If you're a member and need access, please use the Contact page.

Remembering John Denny

  • John preparing for our Spring concert in March 2010
  • John playing at the Windsor Band Stand in August 2019
  • John in March 2011 working out where to perform
  • John rehearsing in March 2015
  • John in June 2018
  • John and Elaine planning something in November 2011
  • John with his other passion, motorbikes, in August 2018
  • John rehearsing what turned out to be his last solo with the orchestra in November 2019
  • John (second from left) with the orchestra in March 2019

The orchestra was saddened to hear of the recent death of John Denny. John had been a faithful member of the orchestra for 11 years. He played soprano saxophone in our woodwind section. He also played accordion and performed a solo in nearly every concert he appeared at. Mostly recently, he played a selection of his favourite accordion music at our Christmas concert in December of 2019. He was always quick to smile and had a quiet humour that soon would bring a smile to everyone he was talking to. But most of all, he will be remembered for his passion and energy for music and motor bikes. We were all very fond of John, and we will miss his friendship and music.

Orchestra celebrates Beethoven in 2020

This year is Beethoven 2020 year.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December 1770 in Bonn, Germany and became a well-known musician in his own lifetime - mostly for his music but a little for his unpredictable moods.

The Windsor Community Orchestra will be celebrating the 250th year of his birth by rehearsing and performing his 5th Symphony and other short pieces throughout the year. This spring, our programme includes the first and second movements of the 5th Symphony (abridged and in an easier key), as well as the Scherzo from his Piano Sonata opus 28. We'll then perform the other movements of the symphony (similarly abridged and simplified) and other short pieces later in the year.

We invite you to join us, either as an orchestra member or at our Spring Concert on Thursday 26th March. Full details of the concert can be found on our Calendar page.

Christmas concert

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Our Christmas concert was held on December 5th. The orchestra has grown so large that fitting all 44 members and the audience was a bit of a squeeze. But the sound the orchestra made was amazing, with a Christmas carol, film music and the musical Guys and Dolls all being celebrated.

We played Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers, and Trepak, both from The Nutcracker. We also played Anderson's famous Sleigh Ride, where 2 members of the audience were invited to join with the orchestra to add the sleigh bells.

As always, the concert was free, but we did collect a voluntary donation for charity. This term, we raised money for a charity that some members of the orchestra have benefitted from and know well; the Thames Hospice, and their Raise the Roof appeal in particular. £440 was raised for this extremely good cause.

Windsor Band Stand

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On Saturday 3rd August, we performed in the Windsor Band Stand in Alexandra Gardens. It was a warm and pleasant day with lots of people enjoying the park. We played some of our more up-tempo pieces in two 40 minutes sessions. Many people stopped and enjoyed the music and £80 was raised for charity, which will go to the Windsor Homeless Project.

2019 Summer concert

The Windsor Community Orchestra held its 2019 Summer Concert on the 4th July 2019. It was probably our most ambitious programme yet in terms of technical difficulty, with Leonard Bernstein's Mambo taxing the orchestra with its complex rhythms and need to shout "mambo" at just the right moments. The audience, however, took it all in their stride, and also enjoyed our tribute to Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul) and excerpts from Hector Berlioz's Un Bal.

There were also performances from smaller groups and soloists. This included a guitar solo from our very own musical director Elaine Foakes, who was advertising a new Windsor Classical Guitar Ensemble, that has its first concert on Sunday 7th July. More details on its web page.

One such small group was a clarinet duet of Kozue Gyves and Tom Creasey that played Nick Homes' Hobo Blues. This was a poignant moment for the orchestra as it was a farewell piece for Tom, who is moving on to new adventures in London. We also said farewell to a number of our teenagers who are growing up and going on to A levels or University. The orchestra gave its best wishes to all those moving on, and hopefully we might see them again in the future.

The concert, as always, was a charity concert. This term, we raised £445 for the WAMS Stoma Support Group, which is a new group for people with a stoma, their carers and family members. More details are available on their twitter feed.

Windsor Community Orchestra is a non-profit, private organisation. It endeavours to provide a safe and secure experience for all who participate. It operates to a data protection and safeguarding policy designed to support this. Details can be provided on request. Please use our contact form if you require more details.

© 2022 Elaine Foakes