On 20 June 1985 at 8pm, a small group of string players assembled in Flackwell Heath Parish Church Hall. Their rehearsal of Dag Wiren’s Serenade and Holst’s St Paul’s Suite went very well…
“Over the summer, I contacted wind players and Pam enlarged the number of strings. As Wycombe Sinfonia we met in St John’s Church, Desborough Road, on Monday 9 September. We did not have the full wind complement as some players had another group rehearsing on Monday nights. We met on 23 September with similar forces then – the big night – Thursday 3 October with full wind and timps.
“To get us going the vicar at the church was happy for us to pay the church something when we had some money and the manager at Lloyds Bank had agreed to let us have a current account with an interest free overdraft facility (he played the saxophone and his mother was a piano teacher).
“The first concert was on 8 December at 2.30pm in St Johns and the programme featured Peter and the Wolf and Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with Robert Vanryne as soloist. It was more than a sellout as the packed church had people sitting on the floor, sitting on the radiators and standing at the back. Unbeknown to me, BBC schools radio had been including Peter and the Wolf in their autumn term programmes for primary schools. What a bit of luck that was. We gave some money to the church, paid off the overdraft and prepared another concert for Spring 1986.” – conductor John Dunnett
Wycombe Sinfonia has performed concerts every year since. We are looking forward to the day when we can do so again!