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Patron: Nicholas Daniel

President: Adrienne Cleary

Conductor: Andrew Parnell

Leader: Ceri Peterson

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History of the Orchestra

The orchestra was founded in 1984 by local musician and music teacher, Adrienne Cleary. It was started as a community orchestra in the market town of Wymondham in South Norfolk. It rapidly grew from strength to strength under the musical directorship of Ian Hÿtch, developing an enviable reputation for its high standard of performances of extensive repertoire. In 2003 Andrew Parnell was appointed as music director, and the orchestra has continued to develop under his baton, exploring new areas of repertoire and producing critically acclaimed performances. The orchestra has worked with choirs for notable performances of Walton's Balshazzar's Feast, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Verdi's Requiem and Bruckner's Mass in E Minor.

Over the years the orchestra has worked with many soloists performing concertos, from the internationally famous such as Emma Johnson, to winners of the Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist Competition and the Norfolk Young Musician of the Year competition. Notable people who have performed with the orchestra are Brian Blessed who narrated William Walton's Henry Vth in Norwich Cathedral and Ian Wallace who narrated Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf in St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich.

The first patron of the orchestra was Sir Malcolm Arnold. The orchestra performed a range of his repertoire and he, himself, conducted the orchestra on occasion. Following his death, the internationally known oboist, Nicholas Daniel, took over as patron and has performed with the orchestra.

Adrienne Cleary has been the orchestra's president since its formation. She is a passionate advocate for the orchestra, plays with the orchestra, and is very actively involved in its organisation.

The orchestra has, throughout its existence, had a policy of encouraging young players. A succession of local students has played with the orchestra prior to going on to further studies. Some outstanding young players have been invited to perform concertos and solo parts with the orchestra. In addition, Christmas concerts provide the opportunity for very young school children to perform with an orchestra.

Based in Wymondham, the orchestra performs many of its concerts in the glorious setting of Wymondham Abbey. Performances have also been given in many other venues, including Wymondham High School, Wymondham College, Fakenham, Swaffham, Old Buckenham, Eye and Cromer Parish Churches, Norwich Cathedral, St Andrew's Hall in Norwich, Hempnall Village Hall, Diss Corn Hall and Ely Cathedral. It has earned the reputation of South Norfolk's premier orchestra.

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Wymondham Symphony Orchestra - Registered Charity No 1065005; Registered address - Comfort Cottage, Brands Lane, Felthorpe, Norforlk, NR10 4EA