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Ed Roddy

I joined the orchestra in 2009 when I moved to Shropshire from Nottingham and was immediately met by a friendly, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Since then, personal highlights have included the gorgeous horn solos in Mendelssohn's Nocturne from the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream and Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante Defunte, as well as larger symphonic works by Brahms, Dvorak, Schumann and Tchaikovsky.

I am keen that we continue to challenge ourselves with more of the latter. When I first joined, I was the only horn whereas we now have three regular players. It would be great to have a fourth regular player to make up a full section so any horn players out there, please get in touch!

 

Jenni Duffell

I began playing the piano when I was a baby as my grandma and my great aunt were piano teachers – music has always been in the family. I started playing cello and then saxophone as a child, and have played, and also sung, in orchestra, bands, choirs and chamber groups ever since.

I joined Telford Orchestra when my job changed and I had more evenings free! I have found it to be really friendly and supportive. I lead the cello section, which is a great privilege, though also quite a responsibility! A highlight for me was the weekend workshop and concert when we played Beethoven Symphony No.9 (Choral). I really appreciate our conductors too, who are great – they are enthusiastic and get the best out of you and the orchestra as a whole.

 

Jane Rwezaura

I have played principal flute in the orchestra for 14 years. I joined after reading an advert in the Shropshire Star in 2002. I learnt to play the flute in Wales and was taught in groups by the late Ruth McRobbie. We had to share a flute when we first started, but this made me all the more determined to work harder. When I was 11 Dad could see how keen I was and sold his pocket watch to buy me a flute so I could continue with my studies. I now have my LRSM in the flute and was taught by Professor Collin Lilley from the Birmingham Conservatoire. (I'm saving to buy dad a pocket watch for his next big birthday!)

During the week, I am a primary schoolteacher as well as an instrumental teacher. Whilst playing in the orchestra I have met a lot of interesting people and made some good friends, some of whom played at my wedding in 2012. Telford Orchestra has a wide and varied musical repertoire, ranging from Handel to Stravinsky. One of my favourite pieces of music we have played is Vltava by Smetana. I first heard it when I was a child and am still captivated by it. Other pieces I've enjoyed playing are Bizet's L’Arlésienne, Schubert’s Rosamunde, Vaughan Williams' Folksongs Suite, music by Tchaikovsky and Debussy and many more.

 

 

 

Sue Falder

I joined the Telford Light Orchestra over twenty years ago, when I hadn’t long been learning to play the cello. It gave me a grounding in orchestral playing and I stuck with it even through lean times when I was the only cello there. Over the years, we became Telford Orchestra, attracting good and committed players but always maintaining our sense of being a community group which welcomes those interested in playing along with us.

I had the great pleasure of being Chair of the orchestra during the year that we celebrated its 150th anniversary. Nationally there are very very few music societies who have been in existence continuously for so long.

Two years ago, my colleague Peter Thomas, who plays violin, offered to make me a cello, having already made smaller instruments but keen for the challenge of a larger one. What an opportunity! From September 2014 to July 2015, I watched the transformation of planks of wood into the shape of a beautiful instrument. With meticulous care, Peter first made a mould and then fitted the sides together; then it was time to glue the two parts that formed the back and shave them down to the right thicknesses, and following that do the same for the front pieces. I learned about purfling and fluting, arching and refining, and visited Peter’s workshop often to appreciate progress. I’ve been playing the instrument he made me for a year now. It has a beautiful resonance and has inspired me to improve my playing to match its quality. Thank you Peter.

 

Violetta Davis

I first joined Telford Orchestra (or Telford Light Orchestra as it was called then) in 1991, when I moved into Telford. I had not played my violin for about 3 years or so and I knew nobody in Telford whatsoever.

I was made to feel very welcome. I sat at the back of the second violins and gradually got used to playing again. We played a variety of lighter music in those days, giving more informal concerts.

We subsequently had a succession of conductors, each of whom gave something new to the orchestra and improved our performance. We also changed rehearsal venues a couple of times, as well as the style of music played. My playing improved and I now play both in the 1st and 2nd violin sections, as the need arises.

The one thing that has never changed is the warmth and friendship of the other orchestral members. The single act of me joining the orchestra led to my making many friends in the area and helped me to settle down in Telford. My orchestra friends are very special to me.