Harrogate's role in literary giants becoming new Honorary Patrons of Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra

Two literary giants - playwright Alan Bennett and poet Ian McMillan - have been announced as Honorary Patrons of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra in an exciting coup with strong Harrogate links.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 10:58 am
Alan Bennett has been announced as an Honorary Patron of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra in a development with strong Harrogate links.

The securing of two such Yorkshire legends is music to the ears of the co-founder of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra Jamie Hudson, who went to St Aidan’s School in Harrogate and became the youngest Trustee of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust at the age of 19.

Jamie said: “I have a passion for the arts and music. It all started in Harrogate as a trustee of the Royal Hall.

"During the pandemic, I co-founded the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra with the Yorkshire conductor and composer, Ben Crick, to provide a financial and artistic platform to help support freelance musicians hit by lockdowns.

"A number of our musicians are from the Harrogate district.”

Disbanded in 1955, the orchestra reformed this May to support 50 freelance northern musicians hit hard by the pandemic.

Audiences will have a chance to listen live to the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra’s debut performance when they perform The Great Yorkshire Proms on September 4 at Harewood House as part of the Picnic Proms series of outdoors concerts.

National treasure Alan Bennett, 87, was born in Leeds. The author used to attend performances of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra as a boy at Leeds Town Hall.

The Bard of Barnsley, Ian McMillan, has also become an Honorary Patron, penning a poem to celebrate an orchestra for Yorkshire (see below).

The English poet, journalist, playwright and broadcaster is known, like Bennett, for his distinctive Yorkshire accent.

The 65-year-old lives in the village of his birth, Darfield, and presents BBC Radio 3’s The Verb.

Ben Crick, co-founder and conductor of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, said: “Ian McMillan is a great friend and creative collaborator, as well as a passionate Yorkshire man. It’s fantastic to get support from our friends in the literary world, helping position our orchestra as a cultural voice for our county, and the North.”

The Harewood House Picnic Proms which will run between September 3-5 are the brainchild of YSO co-founder Jamie Hudson, who runs Vivo Entertainment in Leeds,

Among the other star acts lined up are Alfie Boe, Sir Willard White, and Queen Symphonic.

Ben Crick added: “We can’t wait to play our first event at Harewood House on September 4, where we’ll be accompanying Sir Willard White and Aled Jones!”

Another Harrogate link to the YSO comes in the shape of Clair Challenor-Chadwick, managing director of Harrogate-based Cause UK, who has been appointed Special Adviser to the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra.

Cause UK launched the reformed YSO to national media, including the Times, Guardian and BBC Radio 4.

Clair said: “It’s a real delight to be working with such a talented group of people and help provide a cultural voice for Yorkshire and th

For tickets for the Great Yorkshire Proms, go to https://www.vivolive.co.uk/harewood

For more information on Cause UK, visit www.causeuk.com

An Orchestra for Yorkshire by Ian McMillan

Yorkshire is an endless symphony anyway

Light shining like brass in the morning air

Wind singing in the woods at the end of the day

With percussion on the beach as you stand and stare

Strings binding the past to the present

And so, here’s to the overture

Of the brand-new Y S O

Encore!