King’s Lynn has its own orchestra

Kings Lynn Minster left Michael Hankinson, conductor of new KL Symphony Orchestra, and right organist Adrian Richards ANL-151208-074236009
Kings Lynn Minster left Michael Hankinson, conductor of new KL Symphony Orchestra, and right organist Adrian Richards ANL-151208-074236009
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King’s Lynn is to get its very own orchestra with its first concert set to be held in just eight weeks time at The Minster.

The first concert on Saturday, October 10, will feature organ concertos by Vivaldi, Handel and Poulenc.

Mr Hankinson, who lives in Lynn, hails from Liverpool and studied at Trinity College of Music. In 1970 he moved to South Africa to become City Organist in Durban.

He went on to revive the Durban Philharmonic Orchestra and was then resident conductor at the State Theatre in Pretoria. He was appointed Conductor Laureate and Composer-in-Residence to the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra as well as principal conductor to the Cape Town City Ballet.

He established the South African Music Education Trust (SAMET) which is the largest music education project working with thousands of youngsters.

His composition A Madela portrait has been recorded and broadcast for television in South Africa and he has been the guest conductor for the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre

Mr Hankinson said his “mission statement” for the orchesra covered a variety of aims.

He said: “A community orchestra assisted by well chosen local professional players can often rise to great musical heights, far beyond that which the players themselves expect to achieve.

“It can offer both social and educational opportunities to people of all ages and all talents as well as serving the needs of the community above and beyond a purely musical function.

“I have in mind a number of concert projects that might fill a gap in Lynn.

“Most importantly an annual “Young Persons Concerto Festival” aimed at players who are still at school, giving then the opportunity to play a concerto movement with an orchestra.

“I have done this elsewhere and have been able to raise prize money to assist in paying for studies or for the purchase of music scores, something very necessary given the cut backs in available funding for both schools and individuals.

“I would envisage an annual charity concert, perhaps like the “Last Night of the Proms” to raise funds for a local charities such as Tapping House and to help support future concerts by the orchestra.

“Other concerts could be an annual Messiah or other suitable choral masterpieces – Faure Requiem, Durufle Requiem, Carmina Burana, one of the JS Bach Passions. And finally exploring the repertoire for organ and orchestra with an annual Minster concert featuring the magnificent Minster organ.

“I envisage this group as presenting the opportunity for younger and older people to get involved in playing with the orchestra and to use it as a fund raising vehicle for charity projects as well as for its own financial maintenance.

“It gives community members the chance to interact and support something that requires a wide range of skills to be successful. Playing an instrument is only a part of the needs of such a group. We will require assistance in concert management and marketing, fund raising, financial management, artistic and programme planning, programme printing and sales, selling advertising space in programmes, management of our web site, Facebook page and Twitter account.

“This is an opportunity for anyone with a love of music, especially orchestral music to become involved and active in an exciting project.”

Tickets for the concert will be £5, children under 16 free. The good news is the programme also includes the popular Albinoni Adagio for organ and strings and the soloist is Adrian Richards. For more information contact: 0757 2513512 or visit: