Summer 2015 – Press Release

by rob
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Published on: July 2, 2015

The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra is promising to pluck at your heart strings on Saturday (July 4) – with Mendelssohn’s masterpiece Violin Concerto played by talented Pip Green, Smetana’s Vltava and Dvorak’s New World Symphony.

Staged in the beautiful historic setting of the Cathedral of the Forest at Newland with conductor Jack Lovell at the helm, the concert starts at 7.30pm, tickets on the door are £8 (concessions £6). Children free.

Retiring collection for Forest Talk, the talking newspaper charity based in Cinderford.

Parking available at Rookery Farm, near Laundry Lane. Passengers can be dropped at the church because of the walk up the hill. (Gates locked at 10.30pm).

RDFO rehearse with Pip Green summer 2015
Pip Green joins RFDO for a pre-concert rehearsal

Press Release: Spring 2015 Concert Review

by rob
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Published on: April 13, 2015

Best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history

The reputation of our local symphony orchestra is clearly increasing, as this was perhaps the best attended concert in the orchestra’s 22-year history.

St Peters Church, Newnham, was packed for an interesting selection of mainly Mozart, with some rather lovely Elgar melodies as an introduction. The two Elgar ‘Chansons’, de matin and de nuit, sympathetically conducted by Jack Lovell, made a flowing and lyrical start to the evening. Jack Lovell has now clearly stepped out of the great shadow of his illustrious predecessor, Thomas Payne, to stamp his own personality on the orchestra.

Jack LovellThomas was flamboyant, exuberant and expressive; Jack is more understated, precise, cerebral and fluid, a combination of attributes that works well with an orchestra which is always seeking to extend its repertoire and seek new challenges.

The first Mozart piece was a bassoon concerto with guest soloist Richard Tatton, another alumnus of the Birmingham Conservatoire, which has had a long and productive artistic connection with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra. A succession of fine soloists has
provided some great musical occasions over the years, and the orchestra provides support for
these distinguished guests.

The second Mozart piece, the finale, his 40th symphony, a thrilling and profound symphony,
was given full value by the musicians.

I’m already looking forward to the next concert, on July 4 at Newland Church, with Smetana
making his first appearance with the orchestra, another brilliant soloist performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, and Dvorak’s New World.

Dave Kent – the forester (16th April 2015).

New Conductor for Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra

by rob
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Published on: October 4, 2014
New conductor Jack Lovell with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at rehearsal.
New conductor Jack Lovell with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at rehearsal.

Promising young conductor Jack Lovell has started on a high note as he takes up the baton with the Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra. He has just gained his Master’s Degree in conducting from Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is already putting members through their paces with works such as Suite from Nais by Jean-Philippe Rameau, which he has edited himself. The 23-year-old, whose dream is to become a professional conductor, has chosen an ambitious programme with a French theme for the orchestra’s Christmas concert on December 6 at Coleford Baptist Church. He will be combining Rameau with Ravel’s popular Mother Goose Suite. And to finish the evening he will be conducting Bizet’s First Symphony for his debut in the Dean. Jack, who hails from Somerset, fell in love with music as a child, although he doesn’t come from an inherently musical family. He played piano and tenor horn from a young age and later added cello and French horn. He became hooked on conducting after being given the chance to take up the baton at Richard Huish College in Taunton, where he studied in the sixth form. Jack currently works at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is busy honing his skills, learning repertoire and developing his musicianship. He has taken over from another rising star Thomas Payne, who has conducted the Forest orchestra for the past four years. “I am really looking forward to working with and developing the orchestra,” said Jack. “It will certainly keep me on my toes and motivated.” If you are interested in joining the orchestra, which rehearses at Newnham St Peter’s Primary School every Thursday from 7.30-9.30pm, contact the chairman Liz Pritchard on liz@gl14.net or ring 01594 510604 or visit the website at www.rfdo.org.uk

Press Release: December 2013

by rob
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Published on: January 23, 2014

Review of Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra concert on Sat 30th Nov 2013

A large and appreciative audience enjoyed last Saturday’s concert by The Royal Forest of Dean Orchestra at Coleford Baptist Church. This second concert of their 20th anniversary season saw a departure from their normal repertoire, as they performed the overtures and semi staged scenes from 3 Mozart operas – The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte and Don Giovanni. Joining them were 11 talented young singers from Birmingham Conservatoire. Although the orchestra are used to accompanying individual instrumentalists in the performances of concertos, accompanying singers is, as one member of the orchestra put it, “a very different experience, requiring extreme concentration.”

Ably led by Ros Taunton, the orchestra and singers were skilfully and enthusiastically directed by the orchestra’s regular conductor Thomas Payne. The overtures had an appropriately lively and spirited character and the ensemble was generally tight in the accompaniments, though it was sometimes too loud for voices which have not yet developed their full power. The young soloists singing and acting were impressive, conveying the humour and drama of the scenes. Members of the audience who obviously understood the original Italian lyrics were particularly appreciative.

There was a retiring collection for Great Oaks Hospice; the hospice’s founder spoke about its work during the interval.

The orchestra’s next concert is on 29th March 2014 at Newnham Church. The programme will be Smetana’s ‘Vltava,’ Brahms’s violin concerto with soloist Simon Smith and Dvorak’s 6th Symphony. For further details please visit www.rfdo.org.uk

By Rosemary Griffiths

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