On song after 50 concerts

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YETHOLM Sinfonia is in good health as it marks its 50th concert with a performance including a Duns’ doctor this Saturday.

GP Simon McCann (flute) and oboe teacher Christopher Crosby of Edinburgh top the bill in a “jolly” piece by Moscheles at Kelso Old Parish Church.

The sinfonia was founded in 2006 by conductor Geoffrey Emerson, who had previously spent five years as the principal horn in the Scots Guards regimental band.

Geoffrey said: “The aim of the orchestra was to make more music and play it because there were not many opportunities at the time.

“I have been very pleased with how it has gone. The players are very supportive despite not being paid and come from as far as Dundee, Carlisle and Newcastle.”

The sinfonia has survived five years without public funding, thanks to the support of audiences, many of whom have become Friends of Yetholm Sinfonia – members gain a discount for concerts throughout the year.

“It has worked very well,” said Geoffrey.

On Saturday’s performance, he added: “The concert starts with Mozart’s busy overture to his comic one-act opera The Impresario, and ends with Beethoven’s powerful seventh symphony, which Wagner famously described as ‘the apotheosis of the dance’.

“However, the composer Weber said it proved that Beethoven was ‘ripe for the madhouse’. It’s certainly very popular now, and often to be heard on Classic FM. Come and see what you think.”

The orchestra’s 2011 concert season brochure, listing the year’s ten main concerts, has just been published.

Performers this year include Dominic Barberi (March), Borderers the Abbey Consort (April), Catherine Fish (September) and Diana Clough (October).

Tickets for Saturday’s concert, which starts at 7.30pm, are priced at £8 – £6 for friends and students go free.

As usual, tickets are on sale at Latimer’s Book Shop, Oven Wynd, and Hector Innes Photography. You can also get them by phoning 01573 420279.