Malcolm Doley Memorial Concert at Lancaster University will tug at heartstrings

Two old pictures supplied by the family of Malcolm Doley tuning up with the Lancashire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra
Trip down memory lane: Malcolm Doley hard at work with the Lancashire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra.

Musicians from all over the world will be in tune for a trip down memory lane at Lancaster University’s Great Hall next month.

Sunday, September 4 will see the Malcolm Doley Memorial Concert take place - a concert 50 years in the making and supported by Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University.

It was back in 1972 that the Lancashire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra was founded by the late Malcolm Doley, the chief music advisor to the Lancashire County Education Service at the time.

Over the next 23 three years Malcolm led the orchestra to some remarkable heights, notably performing in major venues in Argentina, South East Asia, Scandinavia and the USA, as well as performing and winning a national competition at the Royal Festival Hall, London.

Alumni players from the ‘Doley Years’ (1972-1995) will meet for a weekend reunion culminating in a concert performance at Lancaster University’s Great Hall.

The orchestra will include many professional players from the country’s leading orchestras, as well as music teachers, keen amateurs and one or two ex members that will be blowing the dust from their long-discarded instruments!

Musicians, who used to rehearse in the Great Hall as youngsters, will travel at their own expense from all over the world in their own time to come together and play together one last time in Malcolm’s memory.

The orchestra will be conducted by Stephen Bell, member of the orchestra from 1976-1980, and currently Associate Conductor of the Halle Orchestra amongst other posts.

The programme will include ‘English Dances’ by Malcolm Arnold as well as pieces by Elgar, Shostakovich, Copland and Faure.

Proceeds will go to the ‘Friends of Lancashire County Ensembles’ to help young musicians

Organiser of the weekend Tom Oldham, a consultant anaesthetist at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, said: “So many of us owe so much to our time in the LSSO…. unforgettable experiences and a wonderful start in life, whether pursuing a career in music or not.

“This concert will definitely stir some memories and it will be interesting to see what we can produce musically with just a weekend’s reunion and rehearsal!!”

More details can be found on Lancaster Arts website.

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