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Gallery/Video: Bury Friendly Orchestra to perform its first public concert at the Apex in March

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 18:25 29 January 2014

The Bury Friendly Orchestra in full swing.

The Bury Friendly Orchestra in full swing.

Sarah Lucy brown

So far they have only played in front of family and friends, but in March an amateur orchestra based in Bury St Edmunds will take the big step of performing its first public concert.

Initially the Bury Friendly Orchestra, which formed in 2006, was an “interesting collection of musicians,” with seven flautists, seven clarinettists, three oboists, a few strings, but no bass or percussion. Over time the balance of instrumentalists has become more conventional, with all sections represented, and the orchestra has grown to a membership of about 55 players.

They are a mixture of players who are returning to music after a lengthy break or who are launching into learning a new instrument and they range from the age of 19 to 92.

The orchestra will perform for the public for the first time on Sunday, March 2, at 6pm at the multi-million-pound Apex venue in Bury St Edmunds.

Sally Haslewood, who helped found the orchestra and plays the oboe, said the group was a platform for people were not necessarily brilliant musicians to come together and play with other people.

Member Olive Endersbee, 92, from Bury St Edmunds, who has been playing the violin for 84 years, said: “It’s nice to be together, all the musicians together, and as the name suggests we are all friendly.”

The orchestra is aimed at people who are at least at Grade four level. To get involved visit http://buryfriendlyorchestra.onesuffolk.net/

For tickets for the concert at the Apex call the box office on 01284 758000 or visit www.theapex.co.uk

A man arrested after reportedly being armed with a gun and allegedly holding a young woman against her will at a house in Ipswich this morning has been released under investigation, pending further enquiries, police have said.

Police searching for missing Kesgrave man Paul Moore, who has not been seen for almost three weeks, have made an arrest.

Three people are due to appear in court on Monday after an elderly woman had her handbag stolen in Felixstowe town centre on Saturday afternoon.

With temperatures due to plunge and three days of snow warnings, calls are being made for neighbours to look out for the more vulnerable people in their communities.

Widespread snow has been forecast for Suffolk and Essex next week, starting on Monday morning. Find out here if your local school in Suffolk or Essex has been forced to close fully or partially on Monday.

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