The Blackpool Symphony Orchestra’s Covid-delayed centenary season will end with an ode to the sea at Winter Gardens


As soon as it was possible to rehearse together following changes in restrictions last year, the orchestra resumed rehearsals for their well-received Centenary Ball.

Concert at the Grand Theater Blackpool in September, with an audience of over 500 and featuring international soprano soloist Jane Irwin.

The orchestra followed that up with a successful Family Fun concert at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall in March, working with pupils from its ‘partner’ school, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary, Blackpool.

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Blackpool Symphony Orchestra

For the last concert of the season, which will take place on Saturday July 2 at 7.30 p.m., the orchestra is inspired by something close to the heart of everyone on the Fylde coast: the sea.

The concert at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, near the shore, will explore the sea in all its moods, starting with Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, and continuing with popular works such as Sailing By (Radio 4’s classic theme for Shipping Forecast ), Sullivan’s overture to HMS Pinafore, Percy Grainger’s Molly of the Shore and the sparsely played but haunting overture to The Wreckers by British composer Ethel Smyth.

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BSO Music Director Helen Harrison said: “It is very special to close our Covid-delayed Centenary Concert at such an iconic venue as the Winter Gardens.

“We love our program that celebrates our coastal location with all of our sea-inspired pieces.”

BSO President Martin Scragg said: “This concert has been prepared for a long time. We had to reschedule it at the last minute this time last year due to the Covid lawsuit

limitations. It’s so good to be able to present such a good program to the people of Blackpool and also to share the stage with the fantastic local musician, Alexandra Stemp”.

Blackpool Symphony Orchestra

The BSO attracts players from all over Lancashire with a core of 50 amateur and semi-professional musicians under the dynamic leadership of music director and professional conductor Helen Harrison.

Most recently, Helen was chosen to attend the International Masterclass for Women Conductors organized by the Royal Opera House in July 2021. In June 2021, she was invited by the Royal Philharmonic Society to work with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in as one of four emerging conductors in a project to advance gender equality on the podium. Helen Harrison studied music at Cambridge University and studied conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The orchestra explores new repertoire and creates performances in a wide range of styles showcasing the versatility of the orchestra from symphonic repertoire, opera, choral works and music for stage and theater. ‘screen. The Blackpool Symphony Orchestra believes passionately in the beauty and power of classical music, presenting an annual series of concerts and musical events, including educational and community projects.

As Blackpool’s only symphony orchestra, the orchestra recognizes its role in providing classical music for the town and developing players and audiences for the future. The Blackpool Symphony Orchestra has a special relationship with Our Lady of the Assumption RC Primary School in Blackpool as ‘Orchestra in Residence’.

Alexandra Stemp was born and raised in Blackpool and was a student at St Mary’s RC High School.


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