The nucleus of Poole Chamber Orchestra, from which Poole Light Orchestra has evolved, was originally formed as part of the Adult Education programme in the late 1940’s. It was not , however, officially established until some 20 years later. It was a small ensemble , consisting of strings and woodwind, playing and performing chamber music as a small group.
The Orchestra continued in this format for a number of years taking up residence in a number of locations. These included Pelhams’s and Newtown Methodist Church, eventually finding a permanent home at St Clements, Parkstone.
A great deal of the music was almost lost following the retirement of an earlier conductor, who reportedly requested his family to burn it! However two members of the Orchestra came to the rescue and managed to restore it, so that it could continue to be form part of the Orchestra’s repertoire. The orchestra is also indebted to the Western Orchestral Society for many donations of music over the years which have contributed to the Orchestra’s repertoire.
With the onset of the 21st century came changes of conductors. Firstly to David East, who, following his tenure and other work commitments took on the role of leader of the orchestra for a period of time. Taking his place was Sheridan Bartlett, who, for the last 9 years has enjoyed seeing the orchestra increase from 12 members to a concert orchestra of 40+ players, with all sections of the orchestra now represented. The range of music played at performance includes classical, light, stage and screen genres.
In recent years DVDs of our concerts have been produced. The Orchestra has been delighted to have been invited to perform at St Georges Church in Oakdale for the last three years and looks forward to continuing this relationship with further concerts in the future