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Southport Floral Hall to host The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert

PUBLISHED: 11:45 12 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:29 20 February 2013

Jess Ryan, who is going to the Guildhall School

Jess Ryan, who is going to the Guildhall School

Southport Orchestra and the Octave Choir get together to make sweet music at the Floral Hall



The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Lancashire Life
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Music and song from two talented groups of people from around Southport will fill the air at the towns Floral Hall this month.

Southport Orchestras 40 players will join forces with the Octave Choir to create a night to remember in celebration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

Rehearsals have been under way for some time at the Church of St Francis of Assisi in Southport for what promises to be a spectacular evening featuring local pianist Tom Kimmance and the choir, which is composed of members of the Churches Together in Ainsdale.

The orchestra was formed in around 1950, and has since grown in membership. The youngest member is 16-year-old Ben Shelley, who plays the cello and attends Range High School in Formby. His father, Jan, a violin maker and restorer in Waterloo, Liverpool, made the instrument for his son.

Ben is following in some very musical footsteps his father and grandfather played in the Liverpool Philharmonic.


Alison Bond, the orchestras librarian, said the most senior member was 60 but the orchestra provided a fantastic social scene for all age groups. Their weekly rehearsal, she says, is a great way for members to relax, particularly after a hard day at work.

It will be the first time they will have worked with the Octave choir and their first time in the Floral Hall. The choir has previously had much success in Ainsdale with charity fundraisers.

The concert could also be the last opportunity to see Jess Ryan play her double bass with the orchestra as she has recently been accepted into Londons Guild Hall School of Music. Jess is currently studying for her A-levels at the King George V sixth form centre in Southport.

Alison said the orchestra had only ever played in small venues with audiences of around 100, but the three concerts they staged each year were invariably sell-outs.

Jeff Rimmer, the conductor, puts some of this increased popularity down to the recent creation of a website and Facebook page.


The ambitious Jubilee concert plans to fill the 700 seats with music lovers keen to hear an attractive programme, ranging from Handel to the music from the Dambusters.


Mr Rimmer said the concert was designed to appeal to a variety of ages. He believes that visual displays are key to attracting younger audiences, and on this occasion they will be treated to a performance of the Cuban-style danzn.

Tom Kimmance, a gifted pianist from Merseyside, will be performing Griegs powerful Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op.16.

The Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert starts at 7.30pm on Saturday, June 16, at the Southport Floral Hall. Tickets cost 11, or 8 for under-18s, and are available from the Box Office on 01704 500036.

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