HISTORY OF THE ORCHESTRA
The story of
amateur orchestral playing in Lytham St Annes dates back to 1961 when the late
Harry Wrigley formed a String Orchestra.
This was quickly expanded to include woodwind and brass sections, thus
enabling a more varied programme to be performed at its annual concert. The orchestra also accompanied the Lytham Vocal Society for their two
annual concerts at Lowther Pavilion in Lytham and soon the combined group
became known as the Lytham St Annes Vocal
and Orchestral Society.
time, the Society was also granted permission by the
arrangement continued for over a decade through to the mid-1970s until ill
health forced Harry Wrigley to stop as Musical Director. With the orchestra without a conductor,
its future was uncertain. It was
then at a chance meeting between John Simpson (who had previously played viola
in the orchestra) and a senior lecturer at the College when it was suggested
John take over as conductor.
Margaret Langley, a bassoonist in the College
of Further Education Orchestra as it was then known said that the orchestra
should be renamed to something more succinct. Everyone present at that rehearsal
agreed, and so ‘Fylde
Sinfonia’ was born.
period of nearly 30 years, John has had the help of several conducting
assistants including Martin Walsh, John Reeman and
Stuart Longley, but it was in June 2004 that John decided to hand the baton
over to Peter Buckley.
John Simpson (conductor 1975-2004)
Peter Buckley (conductor
Choral Society Diamond Jubilee Souvenir