Dedicated to our friends – Mike Syrett

Mike graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 1961, and then spent a further two years studying composition and orchestration at the University of Wales. In 1963 Mike began teaching at Darlaston Grammar and Technical School (now Grace Academy), with the responsibility of setting up a music department. He became head of department in 1967 and taught there for thirty-eight years — several BPO members played for shows put on by Mike and his students. For many years he served as a magistrate in Walsall.

Mike joined BPO in 1965, becoming principal bassoon after David Munrow left to pursue his interest in early music. During his long BPO membership Mike acted for several years as chair. He conducted the orchestra’s woodwind and brass players on numerous occasions for BPO Wind Band concerts, including performances of Hymn to the Fallen, a favourite piece that moved him profoundly. Mike also played as principal bassoon for Sinfonia of Birmingham. He was closely involved with the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade, setting up its national band in 1979 and serving as director of music and conductor until 2011.

We will be performing our concert in memory of our friends on Sunday 2 February, 7:30 pm at Chipping Camden School (TICKETS) and on Sunday 9 February, 3:00 pm at the Elgar Concert Hall, University of Birmingham (TICKETS).

Williams – Hymn to the Fallen

Ian Rae – Pacific Concerto (first performance)

Enescu – Romanian Rhapsody No 1

Mahler – Symphony No 5: Adagietto

Elgar – Enigma Variations

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