Talk as part of Local History Month 2016.
Players, listeners and singers are invited to join The Cobweb Orchestra in Middlesbrough Town Hall on Easter Monday (25th April) in their most ambitious event to date - an attempt to play through every single note of Beethoven’s nine symphonies in a single day, starting in the morning with his youthful first, and continuing throughout the afternoon with the next seven, including the “Eroica”, the “Pastoral” and, of course, the instantly recognisable “5th”. The evening finale will consist of the glorious “Choral” symphony.
It promises to be an exciting and exhausting day of music making. Each work will be played through without rehearsal on the day, but players have been practising all the symphonies at the weekly Cobweb Orchestra sessions, which take place at a variety of venues, including Middlesbrough Town Hall, on weekday evenings.
In addition to playing in this musical event, the orchestra members have chosen to fundraise during the day in support of CLIC Sargent. All money raised on the day will be split 50/50 with this charity, whose aim is to help the families of children suffering from cancer.
The charity is very close to the heart of one of the Cobweb Orchestra members, Stephanie Cant. “CLIC Sargent has evolved from the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for children. It was this former fund, from which my family benefitted in the mid 1980s, when my child, then six, was diagnosed (out the blue) with a rare form of fatal childhood cancer.”
Stephanie found that the funded social worker was their lifeline. “She provided comfort, someone to talk to, and most crucially, access to financial help from the charitable fund. Having a child with cancer is expensive. Medical expertise is necessarily concentrated in a few places, since the condition is too rare for full services to exist locally. So there are travel expenses, accommodation expenses, and, very frequently, also the need to make sure that one parent or other is with the child 24 hours a day. Children receiving cancer treatment are rarely ‘in-patients’ as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are administered in outpatient clinics, often miles away from the family home. It is a nightmare during which one has to remain cheerful and positive for the sake of your child. The work that CLIC Sargent does is invaluable.”
All Cobweb Orchestra activities are open to players of all standards. The only entry requirement is that you have an instrument and want to play it. Singers are always welcome, too, when the orchestra performs vocal works, such as the “Choral” symphony which rounds off this day.
The Beethoven event starts at 11.00am and finishes at approximately 8.30pm. You can drop in at any time to listen to your favourite symphony, or, if you’d like to play or in the final 9th symphony, to sing, get in touch with the orchestra’s administrator Catherine Shackell via email at email@example.com or telephone 01937 831163.
The Cobweb Orchestra is a network of music groups throughout the north of England. Its origins lie within the Northern Sinfonia’s community outreach work where it began in 1995 with a group led by Andy Jackson and Chris Griffiths, NS horn player. The organisation has grown to encompass 7 groups throughout Cumbria, the North-east and York, made up of adult amateur musicians who have picked up their instruments again after a lengthy gap or who have taken up an instrument in adulthood. The individual groups meet regularly and members also get together for workshops and concerts throughout the year.