Past News ....

Launch Concert a Sell Out !

Elisabeth Toye (soprano), Caroline Amneus (mezzo), Gareth John (tenor) and Armin Zanner (bass)

Our Lady of The Wayside Church in Shirley was packed to capacity with over 400 music lovers for the Launch Concert of Solihull Symphony Orchestra last Saturday evening (12 March) which featured Beethoven's monumental 9th "Choral" Symphony, for which the orchestra was joined by The Hampton Singers. The Concert was attended by Mrs Sheila Pittaway, Mayor of Solihull, Mr Ted Richards, Leader of Solihull Council, Mr John Taylor MP and Mr David Butler, President of Solihull Rotary Club who are sponsoring the orchestra in its first year.

The evening started with the less well-known Crusell Clarinet Concerto, with Victoria Rex as the soloist. It was a polished and lyrical performance, with a well balanced orchestral accompaniment, especially in the slow movement. Victoria is Head of Music at Hall Green School 

The orchestra tackled the monumental symphony with both determination and enthusiasm. Although some of the more delicate passages were a little fragile, and the relentless speed demanded by both composer and conductor caused a few hiccups, the overall effect was still very impressive. The choral finale, "Ode to Joy" showed the Hampton Singers in good voice, and the four young soloists gave outstanding performances. Elisabeth Toye (soprano) and Caroline Amneus (mezzo) both studied at Birmingham Conservatoire, while Gareth John (tenor) is at the Guildhall School of Music, and Armin Zanner (bass) originally read Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge. It is measure of how far the orchestra (formerly Knowle Sinfonia) has come in three years under Martin Leigh's leadership that the concert was such a success.


As one audience member commented, "Not even a limited view from the back of the balcony, wooden primary school chairs, the audible ventilation system, nor difficult parking dampened my enjoyment"

14 March 2005



Press Coverage

Solihull Observer March 2005

Solihull and Warwickshire Gazette March 2005