Penzance String Orchestra Begin Five-Day Tour Of Scilly

penzance string orchestra
The Penzance Youth String Orchestra arrived in Scilly this weekend, ahead of their five-concert tour of all the inhabited islands this week.

The 20 young musicians will play at all four off-island halls, starting on Bryher this evening before ending their tour at the Town Hall on Saturday.

Conductor Tim Boulton says it will be an unusual week for the 20 young musicians who don’t normally perform to such a tight schedule over a short space of time.

He’s hoping the intensive programme will be a chance for the musicians to bond together while they’re here in a way they can’t during rehearsals on the mainland.

They’re varying the programme slightly each night.

And they’ve also tailored each performance to the individual venues, to make sure the overall sound is perfect.

Tim came over earlier this summer to check the acoustics of some of the buildings. He says the new hall on St Martin’s in particular is “very lively” and the players will need to take that into account to make sure it doesn’t overpower the room.

The orchestra has chosen music that’s either ‘borrowed’ from earlier periods or is based on traditional folk tunes from across Europe.

One piece was specially written for the orchestra by a young Cornish composer called Ben Como and by an amazing coincidence, Tim says he bumped into him this weekend staying on St Mary’s.

Ben is here for a few days holiday and promised to attend the orchestra’s rehearsal.

Tim says he’s keen to make the music as accessible to people as possible. He’ll be giving brief introductions to each piece during the 90-minute concerts.

Each performance is free with a collection afterwards. The first takes place at Bryher Community Hall at 7pm this evening, followed by Tresco Community Hall at 7.30pm tomorrow. On Thursday, the orchestra will be at St Agnes Island Hall at 7.30pm and at St Martin’s Community Hall at 7.30pm on Friday. The tour ends on Saturday at the Town Hall on St Mary’s at 8pm.