An update from our Chairs

As we begin to emerge from under this dreadful virus, we want to brighten your musical outlook by reassuring you that Yorchestra is still alive and kicking.

Before that, we must tell you of some personnel changes. Martin Dreyer has succeeded Lyn Whiting as chairman of trustees and Judith Battersby has taken over at the helm of the management committee.

Martin joined the trustees a year ago and became chairman on 1st June. He continues to have some writing commitments and also as an associate lecturer at York University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, but he is essentially retired and looking forward to devoting his spare time to the cause. His younger son was a violinist in Yorchestra for two years.

Judith has been associated with Yorchestra for many years, partly through her three daughters, all of them musical, and partly as a member of the management committee. After taking 2019 off to marry her eldest daughter, she chaired the committee’s meeting in January on an acting basis, and has since allowed her arm to be twisted into continuing at its head. She works in school administration.

Martin’s predecessor was Lyn Whiting, whose contribution to Yorchestra virtually since it began has been immeasurable. For some time she ran it almost singlehandedly, as she recounts, “from her kitchen table”. When we first became a charity, she became a trustee and nobly stepped up to the chairmanship three years ago when her predecessor had to resign for health reasons. We are delighted that she has agreed to remain as a trustee.

There has been one other significant resignation. Rachel Gray has decided to step down as a Course Director (organising Yorchestras 1 and 2), a position she has held with distinction for a considerable time. But she will continue as a cello tutor. We count it a privilege to have a musician of such high calibre on our teaching staff.

Cherry Fricker, who is our treasurer and has so far been on the management committee, attending trustees’ meetings when required, has now become a full trustee. Her financial expertise will be extremely valuable at that level.

Although we have been forced to cancel both August and New Year courses, we are planning to resume activities during the Easter holidays next year. Full details will be announced during the autumn, along with other initiatives now under discussion. We are aware that music budgets may well be squeezed as a result of this crisis, which makes us all the more determined to continue at full steam.

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