[MYO Alumni]

Stephen Williams Commemoration Concert (26th January 2019)

In recognition of Stephen's significant contribution to the MYO and to music education in the Midlands, a Commemoration Concert in aid of the James Langley Memorial Trust (JLMT) took place on Saturday 26th January 2019 at The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, featuring over 60 MYO Alumni who had been admirably assembled by former MYO Leader Anna Downes.

The soloist was former CBSO Youth Orchestra leader Charlotte Moseley (Violin), and the orchestra of MYO Alumni was lead by MYO Alumnus (and former Leader) David Gregory and conducted by former MYO Music Director Anthony Bradbury. The programme consisted of Stephen's own composition ‘In Search of Altruism’, along with Bruch's Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.5 in E minor.

Representatives from every decade of the MYO took part in the concert, plus a former MYO conductor, James Ross, playing violin. Joining Stephen's wife Eileen (and a large collection of the Williams family) in the audience was Jim Langley's wife, Beryl.

A special Souvenir Programme was created for the evening, and a copy can be downloaded here.

It was a wonderful occasion, with many memories shared, and a fitting tribute to a wonderful man. The Birmingham Post newspaper also awarded the concert a 5-star review.

Below are some photographs of the dress rehearsal (courtesy of Jenni Bradbury), and a full orchestra group photo can be downloaded from here.

[Anthony & Charlotte Moseley] [Cellos]
[1st Violins] [Horn Section]
[2nd Violins] [Basses]
[Brass] [End of Concert]

[2013 Reunion]
Second Reunion - All Years (24th February 2013)

A second MYO Reunion took place on Sunday 24th February 2013 at the CBSO Centre, Birmingham, to which all past members were invited.

Over 70 former MYO players attended. Welcome speeches were given by Jeremy Patterson (early MYO player, former MYO Trustee and current Chair of the James Langley Memorial Trust), David Gregory (past MYO player, former MYO violin section tutor, and CBSO player), and Anna Downes (late MYO member and leader). A video message from Anthony Bradbury (last MYO Music Director) was played, recorded in Shanghai; Anthony also managed to join proceedings for an hour via a live Skype link.

Regrettably, we were without Stephen Williams who had recently suffered a stroke. However, he was able to send some words of welcome which were read out by Jeremy, and Stephen was very much with us in spirit throughout the day.

Highlights of the event included:

[Scratch Orchestra]
1. A ‘scratch orchestra’ rehearsal and performance of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture (featuring 36 players - click here to see the list), conducted by Jeremy Patterson

2. A DVD of the 1969 International Festival of Youth Orchestras, entitled “Last Summer We Played in the Alps”, featuring Blyth Major and Leopold Stokowski (courtesy of Angela Orgill who kindly invested a considerable amount of time in tracking it down)

3. A 1964 BBC Radio broadcast about the MYO, featuring interviews with Blyth Major and four MYO players: John Franklin (flute), Ceinwen Penny (violin), Pamela Bradley (violin), and Simon Goss (oboe)

A comprehensive gallery of photos can be seen here (courtesy of Colin Butterworth).

There was also an optional evening activity: the chance to hear the MYO’s successor, the inspirational CBSO Youth Orchestra, in concert at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, where they performed Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D for the Left Hand (soloist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet), and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, conducted by Andrew Litton.

Heartfelt thanks go to the informal organising committee: Stephen Williams, Lesley Leigh, Colin Butterworth, Anna Downes, Phil Garner, Jeremy Patterson and, in particular, Caroline Jephcott who shouldered the lion’s share of the work; it would not have been possible without you!

Inaugural Reunion - 1950s/60s (12th June 2010)

The inaugural MYO reunion took place on Saturday 12th June 2010 at the Copthorne Hotel, Birmingham, for former members from the 1950s and 1960s.

Almost 80 former players attended and a wonderful time was had by all; friendships were renewed and much news was exchanged.

Brief speeches were given by Stephen Williams, Anthony Bradbury and David Gregory. Stephen WIlliams introduced a television programme about the 1973 International Festival of Youth Orchestras (IFYO), the brainchild of the MYO’s founder Blyth Major, and Tim Pegg showed photographs from the first IFYO held during 1969 in St Moritz, Switzerland, in which the MYO had participated (see the Tours page for further details).

Jenni Bradbury was on hand to interview players about their MYO experiences; these audio recordings will form part of the MYO archives and may be featured on this website at a later date. There was also much MYO memorabilia on display including assorted photographs, programmes and newspaper articles.

This event would not have been possible without the hours of hard work put in by Lesley Leigh (née Stormont), Colin Butterworth & Stephen Williams. Our sincere thanks go to them all.

A selection of photos are shown below, but to see a much more comprehensive gallery of the day, please click here (photos courtesy of Colin Butterworth).

We hope that it may be possible to organise further reunions for other decades of membership in the future, so please ensure you keep us up to date with your contact details by completing the form on the Alumni page.

[MYO Woodwind]
MYO Woodwind Alumni
Pictured from left to right: John Franklin, Tim Pegg, Rosalind Woolley (née Ludlow), Dave Whatley, Sue Peters (née Cotterill),
Simon Ballard (Michael Stride), Martin Cook, Beryl Langley (née Skidmore), David Whitehouse, Anthony Bradbury.

[MYO Violins]
MYO Violin Alumni
Pictured back row left to right: Eric Orgill, Jayne de Leysin (née Taylor), Jonathan Taylor, David Gregory, Martyn Coxhill,
Ros Groves (née Weaving), Richard Bradley.
Pictured front row left to right: Angela Orgill (née Smith), Sue Waggett (née Brown), Lesley Leigh (née Stormont), Sue Gregory (née Nunn), Roger Dillon,
Sally Jones (née Walker), Ceinwen Silverbrooke (née Penny), Stella Tinley.

[MYO Violas, Cellos & Basses]
MYO Violas, Cellos and Basses
Pictured back row left to right: Stephen Williams, David Walker, TBC.
Pictured front row left to right: Derek Slack, Karin Newton (née Brock), Andrew Burn, Janet Thomas (née Scaife), Ian Ludford,
Bryan Burdett, Sid Hartsilver, Barbara Osborn, Ron Large.