A thriving community orchestra made up of musicians ranging in age from 16 to 90 will be staging its annual concert soon.

The 40-strong Cockermouth Community Orchestra (formerly know as the Papcastle Community Orchestra) will be joined by a chorus of local singers when it takes part in Cockermouth Live!

The orchestra was formed in 2007 to provide music making opportunities for people living in Papcastle. It has blossomed since then and offers the same opportunity – on a bigger scale and from a larger catchment area.

Times and Star: Cockermouth Community Orchestra rehearsing for their annual concertCockermouth Community Orchestra rehearsing for their annual concert (Image: Tom Speight)

"Players range from early grades to post grade 8, therefore the orchestra has a wide spectrum of musical ability," said a spokesman.

"Audrey Evans and Enid Ferguson are the eldest performers and still play as and when they can.

"Our youngest player is currently talented violinist Tabitha Wright, who sits near her mum in the first violins."

The orchestra meets once a month in the United Reformed Church to rehearse and try out new pieces. It only performs once a year - at Cockermouth Live!

Times and Star: Philip Wood conducts the orchestraPhilip Wood conducts the orchestra (Image: Supplied)

"CCO has had a long and fruitful association with Cockermouth Live!, always aiming to stretch the musicians’ abilities as well as reflecting on what the town’s audience will enjoy. This year is no exception," said Tom Speight, of Cockermouth Live!

This year's concert will cover music by Vaughan-Williams, Holst, Gilbert & Sullivan and Ivor Novello as well as exploring folk music and sea shanties.

Joining the orchestra will be another community group - Wild Chorus and Sing Owt, led by Dave Camlin.

"They will be singing a variety of pieces, from traditional blessings to rousing anthems," said Tom.

"For the final piece the choir and orchestra will combine in a special joint arrangement of approximately 70 performers ."


Conductor Phil Wood said: "It’s going to be so much fun and very exciting for orchestra and singers to perform together.

"Talented singer and musical director Dave Camlin has achieved with his choirs what CCO do instrumentally. It really is marvellous that we can all join together for this community event."

The concert takes place at Christ Church, 7pm on Sunday, July 2. Tickets (£10, free for accompanied children) are available from Billy Bowman’s music shop.

The festival runs from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2. The full schedule can be found at www.cockermouthfestival.org.