WYO History



A bird's eye view of WYO - David Boxford






The fortunes of the orchestra appear to have risen and fallen in natural cycles, like that of any good piece of music. Of course, when one is at a high point it is difficult to envisage further such climaxes ahead or behind - we have, for instance, the report of May 1990:-


"Some 40 years ago, a small group of young players, encouraged by parents and enthusiastic teachers, set off on a musical journey which was difficult and torturous in the early years. The initial years brought together only a small group of players, mostly in the early stages of learning, and mostly strings. They were encouraged by the Westmorland Music Council and later the county education authority, both of whom provided funds and rehearsal facilities. Having watched the growth of the orchestra, and, above all, the devoted care that parents have given to the cause over difficult moments, Saturday night's concert marked the highest point the orchestra has attained."


The Westmorland Junior Orchestra got off to an impressive start with the determined leadership of Miss Hine so that, within two years, they were entering the Morecambe Music Festival and missing first place by only one mark.


Then Mrs Brothers' amazing 17 years at the helm of WSO, leading up to an open rehearsal at the end of each year, provided the host orchestra to the 1st Presentation of Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in Westmorland in 1960 and to the visit of the Princess Royal in 1963, as well as setting up stronger links with the Westmorland (First) Orchestra! As you will read, Alan Price launched the "Westmorland Youth Orchestra" with great enthusiasm, which was taken on by Barry Sharkey and then Michael Sutcliffe, leading into the orchestra we hear today, lead by Noel Bertram. The holding of public concerts soon became established, with other facets interwoven, as past members will recall.


In the end, what really matters is that all members gained one of their first tastes of orchestral playing with WYO and, judging by the enthusiasm of many reports, once bitten it couldn't be put down!



Musical Directors 1948-1999


Opens internal link in current windowMargaret Hine - 1948-51 


Opens internal link in current windowLouise Brothers - 1951-68 


Opens internal link in current windowAlan Price - 1968-69 


Opens internal link in current windowBarry Sharkey - 1969-78 


Opens internal link in current windowMichael Sutcliffe - 1978-87 


Opens internal link in current windowNoel Bertram - 1987 >>