THE Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Barry Singh, played to a capacity audience.
THE Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Barry Singh, played to a capacity audience.

Sell-out saves orchestra

AFTER facing an uncertain future last week, the beat will definitely go on for the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra.

More than 1400 people answered the orchestra's SOS and bought a ticket to attend the Save the Orchestra concert at Seagulls Leagues Club yesterday.

The packed house turned out eager to support the 61-piece orchestra, conducted by Murwillumbah identity Barry Singh and made up of talented Tweed and Northern Rivers artists, which was facing closure.

“We are totally overwhelmed by the community's response,” Mr Singh said yesterday.

“It just goes to show how much the community values the orchestra.

“To tell you the truth it (the large audience) has renewed my faith in Australia as a whole, because Australia is such a sporting nation, so to see so many people come out in support of the arts is so heart warming for people who dedicated their lives to the arts.”

More than 300 people have bought tickets for the orchestra's repeat performance on March 1, which was organised due to public demand, Mr Singh said.

The repeat performance will include the same program of mixed genres, as well as local talent including Terranora coloratura soprano Liza Beamish and performers from local dance companies including Danceland Ballroom in Tweed Heads.

The orchestra was thrown into uncertainty after a dishonoured performance payment of $18,650 wiped out its funds late last year, forcing it to cancel its final performance for 2008.

Now, thanks to the players and the special guest performers included in yesterday's program, as well as the support of locals, the future looks bright for the NRSO.

“After facing an uncertain future, I am happy to say that this concert has set us up for the year and beyond,” Mr Singh said.

“The orchestra is not going anywhere.”

This is welcome news to the dedicated musicians who make up the orchestra and have a loyal following on both sides of the border.

For mother-of-two and music teacher, Alison Fletcher, the survival of the orchestra was of per- sonal importance.

“Having a four-year-old and a two-year-old, I don't get many chances to perform, so it is wonderful news,” she said.

After playing violin for the NRSO for more than 10 years and being concert master of yesterday's performance, Mrs Fletcher said she was thankful to the Tweed community for its support.

“The best part of being in the orchestra is getting to play, especially for an appreciative audience.”

Tickets for the March 1 concert cost $40 for adults, $35 for concession and $22 for high school students. Primary age children are free. To book, call 5587 9033.



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