Deirdre Culloty (Chair, CPSO) & on behalf of the Committee has been in touch
The year 2020 has not turned out to be as any of us expected. I am writing this in the hope that you are keeping well and have found ways of staying in touch with loved ones even though circumstances have forced long separations upon us.
The musicians of the CPSO were last together in February when we were rehearsing some exciting music for our Spring concert with Steve Bingham. We were barely a week away from what we knew was going to be a terrific performance and one which the Friends would really have loved and appreciated.
In true “Proms” style, we were combining some well-known repertoire (Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Vaughan Williams’ Folk Song Suite) with a newly commissioned work which had been composed for the CPSO for our 30th Birthday by Martin Bright. Commissioning a piece of music and performing a ‘World Premiere’ is a very exciting thing! The composer, conductor, orchestra and soloists all work closely and music is created which is very meaningful and personal to everybody. Our soloists were five percussion students at the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians who also received tuition from the Guildhall School of Music. Together, we explored the sound world of Martin’s “Apkallu – Protector.” Very sadly, circumstances meant that we were not able to share it with you as the concert was cancelled only a week later...
As you are aware, Steve Bingham has now moved on from the CPSO and we have a new Music Director who features in The Moment Magazine locally and online this month. Bjorn Bantock is beginning rehearsals this week after the CPSO Committee have done much risk assessment and careful work with QKA to ensure that all Covid-19 safety procedures are correctly in place. We are starting with the String players only – they wear masks while they play and each player has a 2m social distance space around them. If these rehearsals go well and the current situation enables us to continue to meet, we will introduce other players until all the available rehearsal space is used.
The CPSO players are committed to keeping music live if we possibly can and to bringing our concerts back to our very loyal audiences as soon as it is safe to do so. We are looking into the possibilities of live streaming music once we can get back to playing together again and will investigate new ideas which will allow live concerts to happen. The Orchestra would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the Friends who have shown such generosity during this year especially when we have been able to give so little in the way of music back to you.
We have planned to invite Steve Bingham back as our conductor for a final concert either in December or, if the current situation does not allow for that, as a guest conductor in the near future. We enjoyed several inspiring years with Steve at the helm and the CPSO aren’t about to let him go without a proper farewell concert. I feel very sure that the Friends will give him a warm welcome as their new Patron.
Sincere thanks, Deirdre