Aspiring conductor Tim waves goodbye to Hitchin’s chamber orchestra

Tim Cranfield

Tim Cranfield - Credit: Archant

An orchestra is set for its Hitchin Festival bow this weekend at a concert in St Mary’s Church – as they bid a farewell to a teenage conductor who has been busy practicing with them.

Former Hitchin Boys’ School pupil Tim Cranfield has been helping the Hitchin Chamber Orchestra in their rehearsals for the Hungarian composer and pianist Bela Bartok’s Romanian Dances, and Finnish composer Jean Sibelius’ Andante Festivo – ahead of group’s concert this Saturday at St Mary’s Church.

Tim, 19, from Verulam Road will be on a road trip on the West Coast of America when the concert is on – but is grateful to the orchestra for their support in allowing him to learn the art of conducting.

The talented teen, who is off to Durham University in September to study music, has been studying for a Gold Arts Award run by the Arts Council by taking part in the practice sessions. He said: “I’ve always been fascinated by conductors as it’s the best way to get your own interpretation of music across.

“I would encourage teenagers to take up playing a musical instrument, and to enjoy classical music as there are so many benefits including being part of a team.

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“Everyone at HCO has been very kind in letting me practice with them. I’d love to join up with them again in the future and I wish them all the best for Saturday’s concert.”

Orchestra violinist Ros Woodin added: “We have enjoyed having Tim with us to rehearse part of our programme and we wish him well in his future musical career.”

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The centrepiece of the programme is from the French composer Francis Poulenc’s dramatic Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings. 

This emotionally charged work is the perfect opportunity to hear the superb three-manual organ of St Mary’s – which dates from 1868 – in full voice.

It will be played by another young rising star, Jemima Stephenson, who is flying in Toulouse in the south west of France for the occasion.

Tickets for the concert, which starts at 7.30pm, are £10 from Hitchin Initiative in Churchyard.

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