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

12:00 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

For tickets for the concert at the Apex call the box office on 01284 758000 or visit


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