The City of Newport Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce that it will be the first Welsh amateur orchestra to perform on the stage of the International Conference Centre Wales in Newport.
Founded over 100 years ago, the City of Newport Orchestra has since entertained audiences despite being one of Newport’s best kept musical secrets for more than a century! The 60 strong Symphony Orchestra has grown and developed as an organisation in recent years was awarded Registered Charity status in February 2021.
When he was appointed in 2019, conductor Sean O’Neill had a vision to develop the ensemble into a musical force that would dazzle and charm audiences of all ages with rich and varied repertoire, from Wagner, Schubert and Tchaikovsky to Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hans Zimmer, and John Williams
“The Orchestra is made up of a unique group of individuals of all ages, with a wide variety of professional backgrounds, life, and musical experiences, all coming together with the common goal of making music to the best of their collective ability. My aim is to share and pass on my many years’ experience as a professional musician and teacher having worked with Welsh National Opera and Gwent Music Service, to develop the Orchestra not only to achieve their best musical experience, but become an integral and renowned part of Newport’s diverse musical culture and an asset to the Community as a whole.”
The orchestra was originally booked to perform at the ICC in October 2020, however due to the Covid19 pandemic, the concert was indefinitely postponed. Throughout the numerous local and national lockdowns which followed, the orchestra continued to meet online with weekly zoom quizzes and musical concerts. Alongside this, they recorded ’26 Songs of Hope and Home’ which was composed by Stephanie Irvine, who also plays violin in the orchestra.
“I composed this piece during lockdown to raise money for ‘The Wallich’, a fantastic charity seeking to end homelessness in Wales. I wanted to create a musical tapestry incorporating 26 songs or tunes nominated by sponsors as part of the 2.6 challenge, a national fundraising initiative that replaced the 2020 London Marathon. The tunes in the piece relate to themes of hope, home and comfort or have special meaning for my friends and family.”
On Monday 11th April, the City of Newport Symphony Orchestra will make its concert debut in the iconic ICC Wales auditorium with a blockbuster tribute to the best of music from Stage and Screen featuring popular favourites such as Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Schindler’s List, E.T, and Star Wars amongst others. A fantastic concert with something for everyone, certainly not to be missed!
ICC Wales Venue Director Nancy Mollett said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming the City of Newport Symphony Orchestra to our theatre stage at ICC Wales. We have staged many concerts and shows to entertain local audiences since opening in 2019 but it will be a real thrill to have such a high-quality orchestra based right here in Newport performing in our 1,500-seat auditorium theatre. I am sure this concert celebrating the very best of stage and screen music will be another fantastic occasion to savour here at ICC Wales.”