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Play your part to keep orchestra

PUBLISHED: 13:30 25 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:33 05 July 2010

THE importance of a prestigious association between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly town has had a major impact across the Lowestoft community and on tourism.

THE importance of a prestigious association between the world's most famous orchestra and Britain's most easterly town has had a major impact across the Lowestoft community and on tourism.

Forging education links with schools from across Norfolk and Suffolk, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has not only entertained thousands on the Marina Theatre stage in Lowestoft, but it has also provided aspiring youngsters with unique insights.

The RPO has also been working with choral societies and the wider community as part of its prized link with Lowestoft, but the fear is that all of this hard work in the past three years may be lost unless the public show their support. And today The Journal is calling on readers to back the campaign to keep the orchestra playing in town - “use it or lose it” - by buying tickets and supporting the 2008 series of performances, which commence next month.

The new season begins on February 8. A host of top conductors will also be appearing for the first time.

Managing director of the RPO, Ian Maclay, told The Journal: “In 2008 we have five first-class concerts with something to

suit every musical taste.”

As part of the RPO's residency at the Marina, local schoolchildren have been given a rare opportunity to see the nation's top orchestra in rehearsal.

Since the association began several schools have taken part in the scheme, which allows them to select pupils who may benefit from watching a major orchestra rehearse. Until last July it was mostly secondary school pupils that had taken part, however, the scheme was extended to enable more primary school children to take part in the project which is co-ordinated by the Enterprise Lowestoft team.

Pupils from Elm Tree Primary School were the first to take part in the scheme and see the orchestra in rehearsal last summer as part of a joint initiative between Enterprise Lowestoft, the theatre and the RPO.

Tony Gittins, the chairman of the Lowestoft Tourism Regeneration Group, said: “We are delighted with the current residency of the RPO at the Marina Theatre and hope that with enough public and visitor support the association will be extended into 2009.

“The orchestra has been (and continues to be), a major coup for the town, that not only delights the audience at the Marina, but has given a distinct credibility to Lowestoft in the arts world.

“The orchestra's offstage work in the town is also much appreciated.”

For more information on the education scheme, teachers are advised to email info@enterpriselowestoft.co.uk

To book seats for any of the Royal Philharmonic or Warsaw Philharmonic concerts at the Marina or for further infor-mation, telephone 01502 533200.

To win RPO CDs see page 20 of this week's Journal.

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