More Members 



Richard Elliot (principal clarinet)“
I joined the Orchestra eight years ago .... A particular highlight was the orchestra's performance of the Mozart A major piano concerto...The most amusing concert moment was when the soloist came out with the cadenza unexpectedly early in Beethoven's 3rd piano Concerto and surprised everyone ......favourites are the 'big' works - symphonies and concertos - the chamber music I prefer to play elsewhere..... Wind players may be frustrated soloists, but orchestral playing is a team game, which requires discipline and careful drilling! The winds (like the back row of a class) tend to chatter. Even if the conductor is in overall charge, it is the section leader's responsibility is to keep the section under control.....and this can be a challenge at times!"





Teresa Heeks (bassoon)

“ ‘Well, it’s you or no-one as second bassoon’, said my husband. ‘You’re coming on Monday’. A feeling of moderate panic set in. My husband, who plays the viola in the orchestra, had been encouraging me to join for some time but when I had been playing the clarinet there was always the excuse that there were plenty of clarinets. This excuse evaporated when it came to the bassoon ... I’m not even very clear about how I arrived at the bassoon; I know why I started to learn the clarinet as an adult, having done very little music other than singing in choirs from school onwards. I was helped by the fact that we had a friend who had a bassoon that had not been played for some years, which partly explained my difficulty in learning the bottom notes ... But playing in the orchestra is wonderful.

The feeling of being part of an endeavour which is to create something out of a disparate range of ages, abilities and temperaments is at best truly inspiring – at other times it can be nerve‑racking as one frantically tries to find one’s place – did he say we’re not doing that repeat, oh it’s in 2/4 time now; or remember when the key changes…that note sounded very odd. The effort of concentration is tiring and exhilarating at the same time, the increase in adrenaline as that difficult passage comes along, the sweetness of someone else’s playing. And who knows where it can lead to?"



Elizabeth Bailey (violin)

"I joined Telford Orchestra in about 1985 ... George Raxter was the conductor and we consisted of about 15 players. We rehearsed regularly at the Arts centre in Princes Street, Wellington.  It was an old school and over the years we expanded to about 30 players.  We moved to Madeley Court School, now under the baton of John Phillips who taught music there. This was a wonderful venue as we had use of the lovely hall, a grand piano and a set of kettle drums.  We owned a piano and a French horn in Wellington, which we had to get rid of when we moved to Madeley ... We had an enormous amount of music going back to 1900 ... most of it was for brass band or had strange arrangements ... Our repertoire has changed dramatically since then - much more up-market! ... I think the biggest change was when Richard Churches took over. He gave the strings confidence to ‘play out’. We did a great concert at Ford Hall in Lilleshall, and we played a piano concerto which he had composed    the place was packed.   He also had us playing in a marquee in the grounds of Adams Grammar school.  If I remember, it poured down all night and the noise on the tent was tremendous!


Nigel Conner (violin)

“I’m probably the only person to have been prescribed Telford Orchestra on the NHS. Soon after moving to Telford I went to my GP for something to help me sleep. After discussing the merits or otherwise of sedatives, we agreed that I should take up an activity to divert my attention and perhaps even provide some relaxation. When I explained that I had played in an orchestra elsewhere, but had not yet joined one in my new home town, he thought it was exactly what was needed. I can report that the remedy worked, and I continue to sleep well … not during rehearsals, of course!"