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Better Late than Never!

The Spring concert on March 17 was a CPSO 30th anniversary celebration - four years after the original date. This celebratory concert - with a piece commissioned from Martin Bright called Apkallu: Protector - had to be cancelled in March 2020 owing to Covid. The concert was dedicated to the orchestra’s principal flautist, Gwen Spencer who sadly died in 2019, and was attended by members of Gwen's family.

Conductor Bjorn Bantock introduced Apkallu: Protector and asked the audience to transport themselves back to the time of the ancient Assyrians when Apkallu were believed to be extraordinary part-man, part-animal beings whose presence served to protect the inhabitants from evil.


Martin Bright, Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and composer of the piece, said. “I’m so pleased with the astonishing performance and so grateful to the orchestra for putting the piece on”.


Conductor, Bjorn Bantock, said “Apkallu required a very challenging and demanding mountain of technical complexity for the players. This contemporary, complex and fiendishly difficult work really took each and every one out of their comfort zones. However, through very dedicated, fastidious work and rehearsal, the orchestra rose to the occasion to deliver a remarkably expressive and creatively stimulating rendition of the composition. Well done everyone for your tremendously dedicated hard work and concentration during the performance!”


Kirsten Goldthorp, Head of Peterborough Music Hub and Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians, where the five percussionists who performed at the concert receive tuition said "It was fantastic to see our percussion students and CPSO performing together - the results were outstanding. The students worked so hard for this and many of them had never played with an orchestra before but they rose to the challenge and results were evident to all. They are now looking forward to the Peterborough Youth Orchestra (PYO) course to continue their orchestral career.

One of the students commented "When I wanted drum lessons, my mum said that I could have them at school or at PCYM. If I hadn't come to PCYM, I don't think I would have ever performed with an orchestra or done percussion""


Chair Deirdre Culloty plays flute in the orchestra and said “The Spring Concert 2024 was our 30th Birthday plus 4 and in the end it was a celebration of the amazing musical talent which is around us as well as a celebration of all the people who support the Orchestra. We were delighted to see so many Friends of the CPSO. We are always so grateful for the very generous support of our sponsors, the V&A Vigar Group."

A few audience comments about the performance:

“It was very evocative and mysterious. I liked the way the piece used sound and silence in an interesting way”;

“It was challenging”; “A really lovely blend”;

“The percussionists performed a great feat”;

“Evocative”; “There was so much happening with the piece”;

“Not my thing”;

“Conjured up a scene”;

“It was good to see the enthusiasm of the young percussionists”;

“Great to hear the orchestra take on such a different work - and to perform so well”.

“The concentration of the young performers was great”,


"Terrific to hear the orchestra take on a 21st century work - and successfully"


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