|The Wolverton Light Orchestra was founded in 1927 as The Frank Brooks Orchestra. It was reformed after the war under the leadership of Mr. Harold Nutt as the Wolverton Orchestral Society. In 1977, under Mr. Arnold Jones, it changed its name again to the Wolverton Light Orchestra. With only eighteen players they played in concerts arranged by the Wolverton Hospital Committee and the British Legion. Rehearsals took place in the Wolverton's Workmen Club (Bottom Club). A Grand Concert was given on the 26th January 1930 at the Scala Cinema, Stony Stratford. A calendar of concerts was performed at the Church Institute, Science & Art Institute and at the Scala during1932.
Throughout 1933, regular Sunday evening concerts were given in the New Empire Cinema Wolverton as well as performances at the Newport Electra Cinema, Wolverton's Scout Hall and in the McCorquodale's Reading Room until the beginning of the war. In 1938 a musical fantasy was produced, with Mr. Brooks writing the libretto and Mr. Nutt the music, called "Lionel Dennier Steps Out". By 1940 the war seriously affected the Orchestra's capability, but it still managed to perform a little each year. In 1945 Harold Nutt became conductor due to the resignation to the ill-health of Mr. Brooks.
Harold Nutt's influence extended the Orchestra's repertoire into performing overtures and suites. The concert given on the 10th November 1946 in the Works Canteen prooved to be one of high standards. It concluded with a performance of "Hiawatha's Wedding Feast" by Coleridge-Taylor with the Musical Society Choir for Chorus, orchestra and solo tenor, soloist Arnold Jones. From 1940 to 1950 concerts were given and the Orchestra accompanied the Wolverton Choral Society in performances such as "Carmen" (1948) and "The Messiah" (1953) for many years.
But interest waned from the mid-1950s and the Orchestra ceased to function for at least five years.The Orchestra used to rehearse in the concert hall of the Wolverton Social Club in the Stratford Road. In this room was housed the piano and a considerable music library and equipment. After the five year lapse the club committee contacted the ex-officers to request the removal of the piano as the room was to be used as a Bingo Room.
In November 1961 the old committee agreed a meeting should be called to look over the sale of the piano and the disposal of the other assets. But a new enthusiasm had been disovered and the members decided to revive the orchestra and find new rehearsal arrangements. Permission was granted by the British Railway Works to use the works canteen for practices. Good old Bingo was therefore the reason for the revival of the Wolverton Light Orchestra, which Arnold Jones as its new conductor.
Its first appearance was at a flower show in the works canteen in September 1962. The first actual concert was given in Moon Street School (now Bushfield Middle School) in December 1962. More and more performances were given and the Orchestra also performed with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. In January 1990 Arnold Jones resigned after 28 years as conductor and his son Robert, already acting as deputy/assistant since 1972, took over until 1995, when Mike Croft became the orchestras conductor.
Information taken from:
The Wolverton Light Orchestra
It's Origin and History
by Arnold Jones
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