Autumn 2021 Concert

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Published on: May 18, 2021

Date:  Saturday 23 October 2021  Marie Roberts (Violin)

Start Time: TBC

Venue: St Paul’s Church, Parkend


  • Schubert Marche Militaire in D
  • RVW The Lark Ascending
  • Liz Lane commission
  • Haydn Symphony no 100, “the military “

Conductor:  Fiona Crawley

Leader:       Ros Taunton
Soloist:       Marie Roberts
Tickets:      TBC
Programmes: TBC
Retiring Collection: TBC
Refreshments: TBC

Liz Lane (Composer)

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Published on: May 18, 2021




Liz Lane’s music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC1 and ITV, and played in major venues throughout the UK and abroad; performers have included Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Carducci Quartet, the Symphonic Brass of the RAF and Cory Band.

 Recent projects include Age Against the Machine – Grand Finale (2019), a co-creative inter-generational choral project in London; and CityScape for fanfare band, premiered in Holland (2019). Two of Liz’s lockdown Bluebird series of miniature songs with soprano Belinda Evans received over 10,000 views on social media (2020/21), including #9 Enchanted Light with Colin Booth (ottavino) and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (2021). The multimedia collaborations River of Time and Rainbow River were commissioned for online performances by Lydbrook Band as part of the Wye Valley Festival and Kapitol Cory Band Online Championships (2020/21).

 Liz was awarded a PhD from Cardiff University in 2010. She is a part-time Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol, also an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is published by Composers Edition, Kirklees Music and Wright and Round.

 Current commissions include A different kind of living for the Open University Choir; Rhythm of Light, a suite for the Hepworth Band celebrating the life and work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth; an anthem Hear the Call for the first NHS, social care and frontline workers’ Day on 5th July 2021 and a new work for the Forest of Dean Orchestra to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imjin River. Liz was recently appointed Composer in Association with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.


Marie Roberts (Violin)

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Published on: May 17, 2021


Marie Roberts (Violin)

Marie is a talented violinist who has been involved in music since she was in primary school.  She has studied under many different tutors but the most influential to her career was Rhiannon Davies of Cardiff who taught her during her time at Monmouth Comprehensive School.  Marie gained an honours degree whilst studying music performance at Bretton Hall College of Music after which she returned to the Forest of Dean and began working in the Health and Safety Department at the Royal Forest (Beechams) Factory in Coleford.  At the same time, she joined the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra (RFDO) as leader of the second violins, and Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra (GSO) on front desk of the first violins next to the superb Clare Piper.

It was at the Beechams Factory that Marie developed a keen interest in the diverse world of health and safety including chemical management, culture change, behavioural safety, machinery safety and ergonomics to name a few.  During her time at the factory she gained two masters of science degrees in Health, Safety and Environmental Management with the University of Glamorgan, and Ergonomics with the University of Derby.

Over the years Marie has kept her love of music alive by playing with RFDO, GSO, The film Orchestra (TfO) and various musicals and individual concerts, and was given the amazing opportunity to perform as soloist for all three orchestras in the past, her most memorable being Scheherazade with GSO.  “I was so nervous beforehand.  I remember speaking to Glyn [Oxley] just before walking on and I was literally shaking!”.  Her last solo was fortunately just before the first lockdown at Malvern Priory with TfO on the 7th March 2020 where she performed the haunting three pieces from Schindler’s List.  It was a very emotional performance and Marie was very touched when an audience member, a holocaust survivor, approached her after the concert to congratulate her.

Marie is very much looking forward to playing the Lark Ascending for RFDO.  “This piece means a lot to me.  It is the second solo piece I ever played since leaving university.  It is also the piece I played at the wedding of a good friend and unfortunately her husband’s funeral only a year later.  I am very honoured to be playing this piece again for RFDO, an orchestra I really miss playing with.  I may get a little tearful!”

Marie is now Health and Safety Manager for Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and is currently principal violinist of GSO and TfO.  She lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband John, son Isaac (6), daughter Elena (1) and her two dobermanns Jacob and Micah.

Press Release: Spring 2020 Concert Cancelled

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Published on: March 16, 2020

Press release: Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra

Spring Concert cancelled at St Peter’s Church, Newnham-on-Severn

For immediate release March 2020





The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra has taken the difficult decision to cancel its Spring Concert devoted to Gloucestershire composers because of imminent Government advice for the elderly to stay at home during the coronavirus crisis.

The concert was planned for Saturday (March 21) at St Peter’s Church, Newnham-on-Severn – a favourite venue for the orchestra for their Spring event.

The programme was to have featured Vaughan Williams’ Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus, and his Symphony No 2 ‘The London’, as well as First World War poet Ivor Gurney’s A Gloucestershire Rhapsody.

A spokesman for the orchestra said: “We are very disappointed not to be able to perform this glorious Gloucestershire programme because of the coronavirus outbreak but certainly hope to put on another concert later this summer.”

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is known as one of the friendliest orchestras in the county and meets during term time at Newnham St Peter’s CofE Primary School on Thursday evenings. For more details visit their website at

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Important Dates
  • Saturday October 23, 2021, 7.30pm: Autumn Concert at St Pauls Church, Parkend
  • December 2021: Christmas 2021 Concert (details TBC)
  • Saturday April 2, 2022: Spring 2022 Concert, Newnham Church (details TBC)
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