‘Hidden gem’ is such a superb asset

It was good to see your recent article featuring the Spa Orchestra. I do wonder, though, what image it conjured up for your readers? I hope it was not of little old ladies playing faded tunes among the aspidistras. Based on attendances at many of the Spa Orchestra’s concerts, I do fear that is how many think of it. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

The Scarborough Spa Orchestra comprises 10 superb players, each of very considerable technical skill and outstanding musicianship, each an accomplished soloist who, in a most remarkable way, play together to produce most beautiful music. Now if you think that sounds ‘OTT’, please believe me when I say I mean every word of it. And every time I hear them I feel exactly the same about them.

I urge readers of Scarborough News not to take my word for it: I am merely an amateur musician. Ask any of the visiting musical stars who from time to time play or sing with the Spa Orchestra and you will find them equally enthusiastic and fulsome in their praise.

I wish I could call the orchestra Scarborough’s jewel in the crown. Unfortunately, not nearly enough folk seem to have been to hear, or even to have heard of, that ‘jewel’; perhaps ‘hidden gem’ is a more accurate description.

Wake up, Scarborians! Wake up Scarborough Council! When it comes to culture, don’t be the town renowned for knowing the price of everything – and the value of nothing. Don’t leave it solely to the visitors and we incomers to the area to sing the praises of your wonderful seaside orchestra. Come and hear them play: tunes from the shows, jazz, popular light classics, ‘fun’ tunes; oh, and the occasional Mozart overture. Come and marvel at their artistry. Then realise what a wonderful asset you have in your midst and give those 10 wonderful musicians the support they deserve.

Please, I beg of you - for the orchestra’s sake, of course - but also for music’s sake – and certainly for Scarborough’s reputation – come to the Spa and thus help to transform the ‘hidden gem’ into the jewel in Scarborough’s crown.

Ted Drayton