Meet some of our members:
Choral Director – Daniel Adams
Orchestra Musical Director – Jim Cooke
Clare Williams – violin
I started playing the violin when I was about 13 after switching from the clarinet. I was a member of Wigan Youth Orchestra for many very happy years in the 1990s under the baton of Havilland Willshire and picked up a love of orchestral playing there. At university I didn’t play a great deal but, once I came back to the north west, I knew that I needed to get playing again. A bit of Googling followed and I found Ormskirk Music Society online at some point in late 2005.
I have got so much out of playing with OMS. Unforgettable musical experiences abound but two highlights would have to be performing Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto with soloist Tom Kimmance and the endurance feat that was Mahler’s 5th Symphony. I have also fulfilled various roles on the committee and am currently the Society’s treasurer, which has enabled me to get to know many members of the choir as well as the orchestra. To sum up, I have made some very good friends and there have been many laughs along the way. Thursday night means music and long may that continue!
Helena Cooke – flute
Born in Yorkshire, Helena began piano lessons at the age of 4, swiftly followed by recorder and guitar in primary school. On moving to secondary school serendipity struck when it turned out there weren’t enough clarinets to go around and so Helena was offered flute lessons. Helena graduated from Bretton Hall with a BA(Hons) in Music in 1994 and went on to gain a PGCE the following year.
Helena currently teaches woodwind in Knowsley where she teaches woodwind, whole class instrumental lessons and curriculum music. She has performed as a soloist with Ormskirk Music Society (having been a member of the orchestra since 1996) and Parbold Chamber choir. She regularly plays as an orchestra member with local groups and as half of a folk duo with guitarist Mark Dowding.
Catherine Ness – violin
I played violin throughout my school years, and belonged to the Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and later when my family moved, to the Cornwall Youth Orchestra. However, as I studied English at University, I found the University orchestra a bit too challenging, and gave it up. Later, I did play with the Cornwall Chamber Orchestra for a while, but had more fun playing folk fiddle in a Ceilidh band! Many years passed without me playing much at all, apart from church music groups. But once my kids were a bit older, I decided to look for an orchestra to play in, and found OMS nearby.
I joined the second violins, and remember finding the very first rehearsal rather hard work – so many notes! But very soon, I was looking forward to Thursday nights – it’s great to get away from your everyday concerns, and lose yourself in some great music. And the tea and biscuits are a very welcome addition to our half-time break (thanks Alison!). I’ve definitely improved over the last few years, have made some lovely friends, and have taken part in some fabulous concerts – despite the usual nerves and worries, everything seems to come together on the night!
I have played music as a hobby since childhood. I like many kinds of music but classical music is my favourite mainly due being a member of a highly challenging school orchestra many years ago.
I love being a member of Ormskirk Music Society Orchestra, playing alongside like-minded and friendly people who all perform at different levels. We play a combination of ‘serious’ classical music and ‘lighter’ music, all of which is highly enjoyable. The satisfaction of participating in the production of fantastic music is something I treasure hugely.