OUR HISTORY

The Story of St Mewan Sinfonia. In   the   early   1970s   a   string   quartet   was   formed.   The   players   were   Alan   Tregaskes   and   Janet   Prisk,   violins;   Bob   Edwards,   viola and   Rosemary   Cock,   cello   and   they   met   regularly   at   Rosemary’s   home.   Bob   Edwards   was   Director   of   the   Cornwall   Rural Music   School   and   wanted   some   conducting   experience,   so   with   the   help   of   the   other   players,   in   1974   he   expanded   the quartet to form a small string orchestra. Rosemary’s   front   room   could   not   accommodate   this   enlarged   group,   so   they   hired   St   Mewan   Church   Hall   for   their   weekly rehearsals.   The   rent   was   ten   shillings   a   week   (50p)   and   Rosemary’s   husband,   David   came   in   early   each   week   to   light   the stove   so   that   it   would   be   warm   enough   for   the   players.   The   rehearsal   venue   furnished   the   first   part   of   the   orchestra’s   name, St Mewan, and sinfonia is Italian for symphony, which in turn is derived from the Greek sumphonie, meaning harmonious. Sadly, no records were kept until 1989, but we think the following details are largely correct. The   first   leader   of   the   new   orchestra   was   Monica   Pethybridge   who   remained   a   stalwart   supporter   of   the   orchestra   for   the rest   of   her   life.   She   was   succeeded   by   Pamela   Rosenfeld,   a   well-known   violin   teacher,   then   came   Sarah   Toogood   (née Dussek,   now   Gane),   Steven   Woodcock,   Alan   Tregaskes,   Molly   Dussek   (mother   of   Sarah),   Miles   Baster   and   finally   our   current leader,   Martin   White.   Bob   Edwards   left   the   county   when   the   Cornwall   Rural   Music   School   was   taken   over   by   the   Cornwall County   Music   Service   and   his   place   as   conductor   was   taken   by   the   young   David   Frost.   After   a   while   pressure   of   work   caused him   to   resign   and   he   was   followed   successively   by   David   Hendry,   Frank   Salter,   Martin   Hall,   David   Jeffery   and   Alan   Slaughter. Alan   sadly   died   in   January   1998   after   a   long   illness   and   David   Frost   agreed   to   again   become   our   permanent   conductor,   a post   he   held   for   the   next   15   years.   In   October   2013   Nigel   Wicken   took   over   the   baton   and   continues   to   provide   both   us   and the audiences with interesting and challenging music. Over   the   years   there   has   been   a   history   of   romance   in   the   orchestra   and,   starting   with   David   Frost   and   his   wife   Karen,   at least five marriages have taken place between members of the orchestra. During   the   Seventies   and   early   Eighties   the   orchestra   gradually   expanded   and   a   new   rehearsal   venue   had   to   be   found   to accommodate   everyone.   For   a   while   it   met   in   Biscovey   Church   Hall,   but   even   that   was   not   big   enough   so   it   moved   to Grampound   Village   Hall.   This   was   certainly   large   enough,   but   it   was   so   big   that   it   was   impossible   to   heat   effectively.   String players   can’t   play   with   cold   hands,   so   we   decided   to   move   again.   In   1999   we   started   rehearsing   in   a   hall   at   Probus   Gardens. This   was   a   wonderful   rehearsal   venue   -   convenient,   warm   and   with   excellent   acoustics.   We   were   very   sad   to   leave   there   this summer   when   the   Gardens   were   sold,   but   we   are   now   happily   settled   at   Probus   County   Primary   School,   where   we   have been made very welcome. Apart   from   playing   for   our   own   enjoyment,   the   orchestra   aims   to   raise   money   for   charity   through   giving   concerts.   We   are also   anxious   to   involve   children   in   orchestral   playing   whenever   possible   in   order   to   pass   on   to   them   some   of   our   enthusiasm for   music.   We   inevitably   have   quite   a   high   turnover   of   players   as   members   go   to   college,   get   jobs   out   of   the   county   or otherwise move on, but in general the number stays fairly constant at between twenty and twenty-five players. We   became   a   registered   charity   in   1993,   which   means,   amongst   other   things,   that   we   do   not   aim   to   operate   at   a   profit,   but to   make   sufficient   money   to   run   the   orchestra   and   to   hire   or   buy   music.   We   receive   no   regular   income   from   outside   sources and   fund   the   running   of   the   orchestra   by   members’   subscriptions,   by   donations   from   Friends   and   Sponsors   and   by   taking   a proportion of the box office at concerts. In   1994   Monica   Pethybridge,   who   had   been   the   first   leader   of   the   orchestra,   became   the   first   Friend   of   the   Orchestra.   Since then,   the   number   of   Friends   has   steadily   increased   and   the   orchestra   very   much   appreciates   the   support   they   give   by showing   an   interest   in   the   orchestra,   attending   concerts   and   by   their   generous   donations.   If   you   would   like   to   become   a friend of this orchestra, email us by clicking on this link. To   play   in   an   orchestra   like   St   Mewan   Sinfonia   is   immensely   satisfying   and   great   fun.   In   the   past   forty   years   or   so   many musicians   have   passed   through   its   ranks   and   it   has   played   to   audiences   all   over   the   County.   We   hope   that   it   will   continue   to give equal pleasure to its players and audiences over the next forty years.
       
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If you’re interested in playing in the St Mewan Sinfonia, or if you are perhaps thinking about booking us, please email us by clicking on the link below: stmewansinfonia@gmail.com

OUR HISTORY

The Story of St Mewan Sinfonia. In the early 1970s a string quartet was formed. The players were Alan Tregaskes and Janet Prisk, violins; Bob Edwards, viola and Rosemary Cock, cello and they met regularly at Rosemary’s home. Bob Edwards was Director of the Cornwall Rural Music School and wanted some conducting experience, so with the help of the other players, in 1974 he expanded the quartet to form a small string orchestra. Rosemary’s front room could not accommodate this enlarged group, so they hired St Mewan Church Hall for their weekly rehearsals. The rent was ten shillings a week (50p) and Rosemary’s husband, David came in early each week to light the stove so that it would be warm enough for the players. The rehearsal venue furnished the first part of the orchestra’s name, St Mewan, and sinfonia is Italian for symphony, which in turn is derived from the Greek sumphonie, meaning harmonious. Sadly, no records were kept until 1989, but we think the following details are largely correct. The first leader of the new orchestra was Monica Pethybridge who remained a stalwart supporter of the orchestra for the rest of her life. She was succeeded by Pamela Rosenfeld, a well-known violin teacher, then came Sarah Toogood (née Dussek, now Gane), Steven Woodcock, Alan Tregaskes, Molly Dussek (mother of Sarah), Miles Baster and finally our current leader, Martin White. Bob Edwards left the county when the Cornwall Rural Music School was taken over by the Cornwall County Music Service and his place as conductor was taken by the young David Frost. After a while pressure of work caused him to resign and he was followed successively by David Hendry, Frank Salter, Martin Hall, David Jeffery and Alan Slaughter. Alan sadly died in January 1998 after a long illness and David Frost agreed to again become our permanent conductor, a post he held for the next 15 years. In October 2013 Nigel Wicken took over the baton and continues to provide both us and the audiences with interesting and challenging music. Over the years there has been a history of romance in the orchestra and, starting with David Frost and his wife Karen, at least five marriages have taken place between members of the orchestra. During the Seventies and early Eighties the orchestra gradually expanded and a new rehearsal venue had to be found to accommodate everyone. For a while it met in Biscovey Church Hall, but even that was not big enough so it moved to Grampound Village Hall. This was certainly large enough, but it was so big that it was impossible to heat effectively. String players can’t play with cold hands, so we decided to move again. In 1999 we started rehearsing in a hall at Probus Gardens. This was a wonderful rehearsal venue - convenient, warm and with excellent acoustics. We were very sad to leave there this summer when the Gardens were sold, but we are now happily settled at Probus County Primary School, where we have been made very welcome. Apart from playing for our own enjoyment, the orchestra aims to raise money for charity through giving concerts. We are also anxious to involve children in orchestral playing whenever possible in order to pass on to them some of our enthusiasm for music. We inevitably have quite a high turnover of players as members go to college, get jobs out of the county or otherwise move on, but in general the number stays fairly constant at between twenty and twenty-five players. We became a registered charity in 1993, which means, amongst other things, that we do not aim to operate at a profit, but to make sufficient money to run the orchestra and to hire or buy music. We receive no regular income from outside sources and fund the running of the orchestra by members’ subscriptions, by donations from Friends and Sponsors and by taking a proportion of the box office at concerts. In 1994 Monica Pethybridge, who had been the first leader of the orchestra, became the first Friend of the Orchestra. Since then, the number of Friends has steadily increased and the orchestra very much appreciates the support they give by showing an interest in the orchestra, attending concerts and by their generous donations. If you would like to become a friend of this orchestra, email us by clicking here. To play in an orchestra like St Mewan Sinfonia is immensely satisfying and great fun. In the past forty years or so many musicians have passed through its ranks and it has played to audiences all over the County. We hope that it will continue to give equal pleasure to its players and audiences over the next forty years.
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