As the final academic term gets underway, talented young performers from the University of Chester ’s Orchestral Society have reflected on a successful year of raising not only spirits but money for charitable causes too.
The society, which was founded in 2013, has performed to a variety of audiences in the region and raised hundreds of pounds for charities this year alone.
In the run up to Christmas, as well as performing at the opening of Frodsham Christmas Market and the university’s carol service in Chester Cathedral , the orchestra held their own carol concert to raise money for Nordoff Robbins, one of the main charities that the society has chosen to support this year, which is dedicated to changing the lives of vulnerable and isolated people, through music therapy.
In addition to the Christmas concert, the society also took part in a charity row and organised a murder mystery night, to raise money for the cause.
Proceeds from the fundraising activities raised over £340, which will help provide music sessions and musical instruments to support people with a range of challenges including autism and other learning difficulties, dementia, mental health problems, stroke, brain injury, life-threatening illnesses and depression.
The Orchestral Society has also busked in the streets of Chester in aid of the Marie Curie cancer charity, supported a ‘Night at the Oscars’ themed fundraising event for Claire House Hospice, which was organised by events management students from the university, and performed at the Pyramid Shopping Centre in Birkenhead, to raise money for Chester-based charity, Children Today.
The society has not only raised money for charity, but has also helped raise spirits within the community.
Residents of Upton Dene Residential and Nursing Home in Chester were treated to an hour of music when the orchestra paid a visit.
The repertoire included a variety of pieces including ‘Jupiter’ from Holst’s The Planet Suite, the theme from Chariots of Fire, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and ‘Great Movie Adventures’.
Since its formation, in the pursuit of expanding its audiences and supporting other clubs and societies at the university, the orchestra has performed at student-run events such as the Dance Society’s Show and the Christian Union Carol Service.
President of the Orchestral Society Zoë Graham said: “Music is a great way to bring people together and we are very much like a family. We rehearse hard, so that we can perform well to a variety of audiences. We have been really busy this year performing, raising money for charity and getting involved with other students and societies at the university. We already have collaborative events planned for next year and hope to raise even more money for worthy causes.”
The Orchestral Society’s next performance will be at Woodlands Primary School pantomime on April 21 - 22.