Spotlight on: New Players!

Posted on 9th May 2023 08:19:10 by Admin

The Hull Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the country’s finest amateur orchestras – one that is ever-changing and ever-growing. Each season we welcome new players who bring with them their diverse and interesting perspectives and musical backgrounds.

With that in mind, here are some thoughts from two of our newest playing members about their musical careers and their reflections on their time with the Hull Phil so far:

Rebecca Stokes (Cellist):

I so enjoyed the March concert - playing such exciting music with such a fabulous sounding (and big) orchestra was just brilliant.

I last played orchestral repertoire at the University of York (with Christine Rostron) about 100 years ago, and my time there included a rather lovely tour to the Greek Islands and a term of leading the cellos while the music students were busy with their final recitals.

I was for many years, an actor-musician, so was able to keep my playing up in small on-stage ensembles – including playing Joanna in Sweeney Todd and Audrey in As You Like It in the West End. I also played double bass and bass guitar in Chess in Toronto, though I can confirm that I am, in fact, not a double bassist or, indeed, a bass guitarist!

Most recently, I’ve been enjoying my boys learning the cello and playing in the excellent East Riding Youth Orchestra with Peter Walker. I had a crack at the Shostakovich when I was in my own Youth Orchestra, the Harrow Young Musicians, so I’m hoping it all comes flooding back. Thank you very much to the Hull Philharmonic for having me and making me feel so welcome.

Jessica Bestley (Percussionist):

Hi all! I’m Jess. I’m 25, from Beverley and I’m currently working as a Learning Support Assistant at Kingsmill Special School in Driffield. My musical interest started when I started having piano lessons at 7 years old. When I was in year 8 at high school, I decided I wanted to learn another instrument and Miss Ward (Sarah of first violins to all of you) suggested I started percussion. From then, I started having percussion lessons and joined several ensembles as well as the East Riding Music Service’s Youth Orchestra during which time I even got to go on tour to Austria! However, since I left sixth form in 2017, I hadn’t really played any percussion… until I joined the Hull Philharmonic.

Although I was quite nervous to play in front of an audience again, I really enjoyed our concert in the City Hall, and I am really looking forward to playing Shostakovich’s 5th Symphony in the May concert. It is a piece I know quite well as I studied it at A level. I hope our concert in May will be just as enjoyable as the last.

Whether you’re a committed local amateur musician looking to diversify your musical portfolio or someone who wants to get back into playing in a large ensemble, get in touch. We welcome new players into all sections for the forthcoming 2023/24 season, though we are especially interested in recruiting to strings at the moment – players must be skilled to grade 8 or equivalent. If this could be you, please email [email protected] for more details. We’d love to hear from you!

Tags: News.