Orchestra goes wild for local charity
6th July 2016
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Members of the Exeter Symphony Orchestra recently went wild to promote ‘A Concert for Wildlife’ which takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 16th July at Exeter Cathedral.

The concert, which is being generously supported by South West Water, aims to raise funds for the charity Devon Wildlife Trust. It seemed only natural to the organisers that the musicians should pose with their instruments in the great outdoors at the Trust’s Bystock Pools nature reserve, near Budleigh Salterton. In full concert dress, members of the orchestra took part in the promotional photoshoot against a backdrop of gorse, heather and bird song.

Mike Elsey of Devon Wildlife Trust is organising ‘A Concert for Wildlife’ and explained:

“We want the event to bring together the beauty of classical music with the beauty of Devon, its wild places and wildlife. The idea for the photoshoot came from this. The concert’s aim is to raise funds to allow Devon Wildlife Trust to continue to care for its 50 nature reserves. So what could be better than taking the musicians to one of them, the wonderfully wild Bystock nature reserve?”

It was certainly a new experience for the musicians. Miles Leonard, Chairman of Exeter Symphony Orchestra said:

“It certainly was a beautiful and surreal morning we all spent at Bystock Pools having the portraits taken by photographer, Matt Austin! As well as putting on our own concerts, we’re also really keen to engage with the wider community, so it’s great to be involved with Devon Wildlife Trust, following on from recent successful projects with ABF - The Soldiers Charity and Da Capo Youth Ensemble.”


For this special concert the Exeter Symphony Orchestra will be featuring the international violinist, Tamsin Waley-Cohen. The musical programme of well known, popular pieces has been specially chosen because of their strong links to nature. The programme will include The Wasps Overture, by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Violin Concerto, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, by Benjamin Britten; The Overture from Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss; On Hearing the first Cuckoo in Spring, by Frederick Delius; Prélude a L'aprés midi d'un Faune, by Claude Debussy; and Tintagel, by Arnold Bax.

The Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust Harry Barton said:

"I'm delighted that the Exeter Symphony Orchestra has agreed to perform a fundraising concert for us and at such a wonderful venue as Exeter Cathedral. Devon's exceptional wildlife brings colour, beauty and wonder to our lives. The musical programme includes some of my personal favourites, and is a reminder of how many of the greatest pieces of music ever written have been inspired by nature. It promises to be a fabulous evening." 

A Concert for Wildlife is one of a spring and summer calendar of events being organised by Devon Wildlife Trust designed to showcase local nature. The events are being generously supported by South West Water and also include:

  • Wembury Marine Centre Schools Education Programme – South West Water’s support will ensure that 50 schools and more than 2,000 school children are able to visit Wembury Marine Centre and learn about the incredible local coastal wildlife.
  • Bystock Discovery Day –  Tuesday 26 July . This wonderful East Devon nature reserve (near Exmouth) opens its doors and its wildlife secrets to the public. Supported by South West Water.

Alan Hyde, Head of Communications at South West Water, said:

“Our partnership with Devon Wildlife Trust is about protecting the environment and supporting schools and communities to learn about and get involved in the natural world around them.  This inspired concert celebrates the sights and sounds of wildlife with a selection of musical masterpieces.  It should be a great occasion.”

Miranda Krestovnikoff, television presenter of Coast, The One Show and Inside Out is also involved in the Concert for Wildlife event:  

“As a musician and one who is passionate about wildlife, this evening combines two of the most important aspects of my life and I am delighted to be there with my family to support it.  Prélude a L'aprés midi d'un Faune by Debussy is one of my all-time favourite orchestral pieces - being a flautist myself, I have played that haunting solo many time but it still never ceases to move me.  The wildlife-related programme will be popular for nature lovers and music enthusiasts alike and I hope this event will be a great fundraiser for Devon Wildlife Trust.”

Tickets for ‘A Concert for Wildlife’ which takes place at Exeter Cathedral at 7.30pm on Saturday 16th July are priced from £12 and are available online at  www.exeter-cathedral.cloudvenue.co.uk/aconcertforwildlife or by calling 01392 285983.

In addition to South West Water, other sponsors and partners include Tozers, Nissan Exeter, Active Devon and Devon Life.

About the Author

Dave B

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I am Dave, I run thebestof Exeter along with my colleagues. If you want to promote your business or event, get in touch with us on 01392 349 130.

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