Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hyde Festival Orchestra.


This a photo of Hyde Festival Orchestra (HFO). This Orchestra was formed almost 60 years ago and continues into present day although much reduced in size.
George Wain can be seen playing the trombone far left back row. George Wain, a renowned art teacher at Hyde Grammar School, was also an amateur film maker. During WWll he was commissioned by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to make road safety films for school children. George Wain also played a "musical saw" as his party piece. He was last seen playing in the Liberal club in Floweryfield, Hyde.
This photo shows the Orchestra in the Hyde Festival Theatre where they used to meet to practise. Before they moved here they used to use a room in Ashton Brothers' Bayleyfield Mill. My Mum played the first violin in the HFO for many years. I have very fond memories of the concerts they used to perform at Hyde Town Hall....nothing to do with the fact that we could roam the Town Hall unsupervised whilst the concert was in progress. :) Sorry Mum....


November 16th 1979
Article in the North Cheshire Herald.


Tom said...

Another great image here Nancy. I'm sorry to say I never knew of Hyde Festival Orchestra.. mores the pity. You must be very proud of your mother....
I would certainly like to roam the Town Hall now... camera at the ready.

Tom said...

Me again Nancy..
What a coincidence... just by chance I was looking for a pictures of a 1950s living room. I came across a site that I found interesting... and a bit mad... just up my street... while browsing I came across the mention of Hyde Festival Orchestra.. I couldn't believe it... not heard of it before then I see mention of it within an hour or two of reading your post...here's the article in full..

" When Mr Trevor Tames decided to form the world’s worst orchestra on the eastern edges of Manchester it seemed a good idea but he reckoned without the confusion that could he caused between his own orchestra and a serious one with a similar title.

Mr James, an industrial machinery salesman advertised in a local newspaper ‘Bad musicians wanted to form world’s worst orchestra. Got an instrument and can’t play it? Great you’re in.’ He formed the Hyde Orchestra after the town, and oversaw its first concert after auditions which rejected players who were too good.

Mr James got more than 40 replies and built up an orchestra of 24 players. But there is dismay among the ranks of the Hyde Festival Orchestra, founded 26 years ago because the conductor, Mr David Bentley is concerned that music lover will be put off going to hear his orchestra because they think it will not be serious.

Mr James, who was unaware of the Festival Orchestra’s existence when forming his own orchestra, has no plan to change its name.

A member of the new orchestra, Anne Bantoft, who plays the recorder is not quite sure how seriously or light-heartedly it is being received. At the first concert last week,” she said. “Some of the audience sat quite solemnly. They did not understand what we were frying to do.”

As conductor, Mr James has worked out a technique of sorts to get the worst out of his players. “I try to find who can play at all, what pitch they are in, then I find who plays a piece least badly and gets near the time.” Gradually, he says, the music decays into a morass of cacophony.

“We only have one or two practice sessions, otherwise we might get too good.” At auditions a man who thought he played the French horn badly performed so well that Mr James had to tell him ‘1’m sorry, but we can’t use you.’ "

It gives no date Nancy... have you heard anything of this?

This site mentioned is http://www.johnbarber.com/art/worst.html

Hydonian said...

Hi Tom, good post. I've got the original newspaper cutting about this story. I'll post it shortly if I can get enough magnification so you are able to read it.

celtbard_2000 said...

I still have the report booklet from Hyde Grammar School by Mr. Wain in 1963 which stated that "Mr. Grimshaw has no artistic talent."