On Sunday 29 July, two teams of cyclists from Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra braved the wind and rain to take part in the Prudential Ride London Surrey 100 Peleton Relay event to raise money for the Orchestra’s Instrument Fund. Amongst the 8 team members was Ben See, who is currently paired with the Orchestra as part of Making Music’s Adopt a Composer Scheme.
The event took riders along a 100 mile route from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through the City and out to Surrey. It included testing ascents of both Leith Hill and Box Hill, before a return to London and the finish on the Mall. The riders were cheered on en route by members of the orchestra and their families in Kingston, Wimbledon, and Putney. To date they have raised over £10,000 for the Fund.
Composer Ben See:
Getting to know SYO as part of the #AdoptAComposer collaboration has been a blast, and I’ve seen first-hand what an amazing organisation it is. I’m so pleased to have been part of cycling team helping to raise money for the Orchestra’s Instrument Fund. Getting young people excited about music is so important, and I know that these new instruments will make a big difference to the players, and continue the excellent work of SYO.
Stoneleigh’s Instrument Fund was conceived to buy some key much needed percussion instruments, together with some of the more ‘exotic’, less frequently used instruments in other sections of the orchestra. Like many youth music groups, Stoneleigh faces challenges in providing a full symphonic experience for its members. As the orchestra has grown in size and skill, so it is able to tackle even larger and more demanding scores. But this means that the range of instruments required grows too. Currently, they hire instruments they do not own, which are delivered on the day of the concert. Buying these instruments will not only save the orchestra money, but more importantly, allow their members to play the instruments at weekly rehearsals and sectionals, giving them the opportunity to develop their skills, and enhancing the musical experience for all.
The orchestra is looking forward to unveiling the first of their purchases at their concert at Hammersmith Town Hall on 16 December 2018 when they will be premiering Ben’s pieces for both its Main and Training Orchestras.
Robert Hodge, Stoneleigh’s Musical Director said:
I am hugely grateful to Ben and the other riders for all they have achieved in fundraising for SYO. In the coming season we are tackling some fantastic repertoire, including the pieces that Ben is writing for us, and the instruments we purchase will be a valuable resource for our players. I am confident that these funds will enable SYO to continue to provide top-class training for our young musicians, and I look forward to rehearsing with the new instruments in September.