To the editor of the Shropshire Star – Your article on the Shropshire music service (Star 16th Dec.) reminded me of how far things have moved on.
I joined the Shropshire Youth Orchestra when it first started and played the flute solo in Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Greensleeves at the formal luncheon to celebrate the opening of the Shirehall in 1966. Our regular conductor was a clarinettist called Andrew Link, but for the performance in front of all the dignitaries the baton was taken over by Kitty Shroder who was then the county music adviser. Unfortunately she didn’t seem to realise that flute players have to breath and took my solo very slowly. I made it to the end, but it was a nervous experience.
The high spot of my memories of that time was the first ever foreign tour made by the orchestra. Our conductor then was John Stevens and we performed in Copenhagen and Elsinore and across the water in Sweden. I have some old photos of the trip, but maybe one of your readers can tell us when it was, my guess is the summer of 1967.
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