The inspiration for the Borders Chamber Orchestra came from the Yetholm Sinfonia, created, run and conducted by Geoffrey Emerson. Yetholm Sinfonia was formed using experienced amateur or semi-professional players from Lothian, Borders, Northumberland and beyond who were invited for each concert. Due to the considerable distances that some players travelled, there was only one rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert, with the performance in the evening, usually in Kelso Old Parish Church. Three of our committee members - Cath (violin), Paul (clarinet) and Simon (flute) - played regularly for the Yetholm Sinfonia until Geoffrey retired in 2016 when the orchestra had its last concert. Thereafter Cath, Paul and Simon (all Borders General Practitioners) discussed setting up a similar orchestra in the future when they reached retirement age.
In July 2023, Cath, Paul and Simon (now all retired) and Nicky (still working and playing the oboe) joined forces to form a committee to set up the Borders Chamber Orchestra as there was no opportunity for experienced amateur musicians to play orchestral music in the central Borders. They decided to use the same format as the Yetholm Sinfonia inviting musicians that they had played with in various orchestras or chamber music groups in Edinburgh and the Borders and only having one rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert. Melrose Parish Church seemed the ideal venue and so the Borders Chamber Orchestra was born. We were very fortunate to be able to persuade another recently retired GP colleague, Gillian Arbuckle, to join us as our Charities and Front of House committee member.
Inaugural Concert 4th November 2023
We are very excited to be performing our first concert on 4th November conducted by Robert Dick. Coincidentally, a new Borders based choir was set up in September, the Borders Chamber Choir, and we are delighted that they will also be performing for the first time at our Inaugural Concert in a showcase slot at the end of the first half.
A lot of background work has taken place by the committee to get us to this stage and we hope all goes to plan! We look forward to welcoming you to our concert and hope you enjoy it and, in the process, raise some funds for Postnatal Depression Borders, our chosen charity for our inaugural concert. Our next concert is already planned for 17th February!