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Generations of musicians celebrate 50 years of KCYO

Kent County Youth Orchestra (KCYO) celebrated its 50th anniversary at a gala concert, sponsored by Gullands, held in September, at Mote Hall, Maidstone.

160 singers, former members and special guests from all over the country were welcomed by Tommy Pearson, himself an ex-member and now Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 presenter who gave a brief talk of the orchestra’s history. Alan Vincent conducted the rest of the programme that included Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, Zadok the Priest by Handel and Four Sea Interludes by Britten.

Peter Bolton, Kent Music Chief Executive, said: “Kent County Youth Orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the UK’s leading youth orchestras and it was inspiring for both the performers and the audience to unite former and current members to celebrate 50 years of musical achievement.”

KCYO was founded by Hungarian conductor Béla de Csilléry and performed its first concert at the County Grammar School for Girls in Tunbridge Wells on August 16, 1963.

Meeting three times a year during school holidays, KCYO offers a unique opportunity for gifted young musicians in Kent to experience the challenge of rehearsing and performing symphonic music to the highest possible standard.