How we started
The Orchestra started due to some old friends sharing a desire to play music together again - like we did when we were kids! The Team was part of South Leeds Music Centre many years ago, and recently played together at a reunion.
We realised we could still play and still enjoy it!
Why we are here
So, South Leeds Community Orchestra was born in October 2014 and we are here so that we can maybe encourage others, who like some of us, can get our instruments out of the loft, dust them down, and play again. We also want to encourage any player, of any age to come a join our rehearsals.
Setting the standard
"I'm not very good!" I hear you say? Neither were some of us until we started playing again. Look, we encourage anybody who can play to join us and we'll help you along in an enjoyable, laid back environment. We are not a teaching organisation, but so long as you can play and are capable and prepared to practice at home, you are welcome to come.
In 2013, an extraordinary reunion event brought together in Morley Town Hall 50 musicians, all of whom were either former members or former teachers of South Leeds Music Centre. This generated such spirited excitement amongst the participants that a group of them was determined NOT to let this special experience be the last! The result, more than a year on, is the birth of the South Leeds Community Orchestra!
The launch of SLCO comes precisely at a time when the Arts are under threat (when are they NOT?), and when its original ancestor, South Leeds Music Centre, whilst retaining its name, has broken 4½ decades of honourable tradition and moved its operations to more ‘fruitful’ territory in Morley – an act loaded with symbolism and negative consequences our community! It therefore seems to me fitting that you who are rooted in South Leeds have kept the faith, being the only group left with any responsibility for the future live musical participation in this part of Leeds.
Whether or not you ultimately choose to include this role in your Charter, I am enormously privileged to have been invited to become SLCO’s first President, and I wish you all every success!