LauraEmail The Past…….Exactly 100 years ago, when normal life suddenly came to a stop at the beginning of the Great War, a notable event in Ipswich was the Grand Patriotic Concert for Belgian Relief, performed by Ipswich Orchestral Society with Ipswich Male Voice Choir on November 24th 1914 in the Public Hall. The situation of the Belgians, invaded by Germany, was desperate, and the instinct to raise money for the victims of disaster was obviously just as strong as it is today

So a hundred years later, on November 29th, Ipswich Orchestral Society, conducted by Adam Gatehouse, commemorates the start of the First World War with a remarkable programme of works by “three English greats”- Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, all written during or between the two world wars.

Elgar’s Cello Concerto is one of the best-loved of all English classics. Our soloist will be Laura van der Heijden, the amazingly talented winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012. Laura, aged just 14 when she won the title, is already an acclaimed international performer and has won many prizes. IOS Chairman Pat Grimwade says,”It seems especially fitting in this commemorative concert that the English tradition is being re-interpreted by one of our youngest and brightest talents from the new generation”.

This special programme also includes Vaughan Williams’ beautiful 5th Symphony, with its haunting refrains from traditional English music, and Sinfonia da Requiem, a dramatic early work by Benjamin Britten,


For more details see

Tickets for this concert on Saturday 29th November at the Corn Exchange are available online at

And the Future?…..We’ve Got Rhythm is the title and Sunday March 1st 2015 is the date for our next Family Concert for families and children, and we promise plenty of fun and audience participation with a large live orchestra. Hear the industrial percussion! Try your hand at playing an instrument or maybe conducting. Bring along your own invented instrument! 

Four generations have now enjoyed these annual concerts, and there are several from our original audience who now bring their own children! It’s exciting to think that for many young people in the audience it’s their first experience of the thrill of hearing a full orchestra live and many local youngsters will tell you that they were first inspired to play an instrument at the IOS Family Concert!


Booking available in November at