A short history of the Mornington Sinfonia

Roy BuddenMornington Sinfonia began its rather itinerant history at least thirty-five years ago as the Kensington Sinfonia, conducted by Roy Budden (1913-2009). In the orchestra's earliest days, rehearsals were held in Fox Junior School in Kensington, and the orchestra gave three concerts a year in St Augustine's Church, Queen's Gate.

For many years, the orchestra's first flute was BBC Producer and Presenter Charles Chilton (1917-2013).

When the school suddenly doubled its hire charges, the orchestra was forced to move to another rehearsal venue - the Working Man's College in Crowndale Road, Mornington Crescent, and at this point the orchestra changed its name to the Mornington Sinfonia. The room at the WMC was a rather gloomy basement with a low ceiling and bad acoustics, not liked by the orchestra or its audience, so soon we were on the move again, this time to another junior school in the same area. The new school venue also had its problems - local children would break in during rehearsals and shout at us, and the chairs were infant-sized and had to be stacked in fours to make them high enough. A cellist fell off her pile of chairs, once, and twisted her wrist.

Roy Budden conducting the Mornington Sinfonia at Our Lady Help of Christians Church Hall, Kentish TownAfter a couple of years we were ready to move on again, this time to St Mark's Church in Regent's Park. Here we gave many concerts with some memorable soloists, including several of the Beethoven symphonies and also symphonies by Brahms and Dvorak. Although the church had a fine acoustic, some members of the orchestra thought that it was too cold, that the lighting was poor and that it was too far to walk from the tube station. Hence the orchestra's most recent move, to its current venue - Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Kentish Town.

By this time, Roy Budden, still the orchestra's conductor, was in his early 90s and becoming rather frail. Roy resigned in 2007, and his position was taken by Brian Smith for the 2007-8 season.

Although the Sinfonia was now settled in its rehearsal venue, Roy's departure presented the orchestra with a different problem. The group had always enjoyed access to Roy's large professional library of orchestral sets, and now a new source of music had to be found. Pamela Moles, the orchestra's first bassoon (and nearly as ancient as Roy himself) rescued the orchestra from oblivion by finding a new source of music hire and a new conductor, Keith Bramich (assisted by Tom Whitehouse from 2009 until 2016), enabling the orchestra to begin its current period of stability.

Mornington Sinfonia rehearsal in January 2009. Photo: George Coulouris  Mornington Sinfonia in January 2009. Photo: George Coulouris

We were sad to hear of Roy Budden's death on 25 November 2009. You can read online obituaries at Hampstead Garden Opera and Music & Vision Magazine. Several members of the orchestra were involved in the music-making at Roy's funeral in December 2009.

Music for a Summer's EveningOn 8 July 2010 we shared a concert in Kentish Town - Music for a Summer's Evening - with two other groups - the Leon Singers (directed by Mary Mogil, with Marije Rommes, soprano) and the Kentish Town Brass Consort.

Concert poster - December 2010

Sadly, this was to be our last concert with Pamela, who passed away, aged 92, on 24 November 2010, almost exactly a year after Roy's death.

Please note that we're still in the process of re-discovering the history of our orchestra. If you have any corrections to the information here, or if you can provide further details - maybe information about some of our earlier concerts, please let us know.


Concert poster - 31 March 2011

Concert poster - Thursday 7 July 2011


 Junior guest conductor Amelie conducting the Mornington Sinfonia. Photo © 2011 George Coulouris
Junior guest conductor Amelie conducting the Mornington Sinfonia on 1 December 2011.
Photo © 2011 George Coulouris

Classical Symphonies - Haydn 99 London and Mozart 35 Haffner

 Concert flier - 5 July 2012



Informal concert at 8pm on Thursday 6 December 2012: 
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte
Elgar: movements from Enigma Variations
Schubert: Symphony No 6

Informal concert: Thursday 4 December 2014, 8pm
at Don Bosco Hall, Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Kentish Town
Boieldieu: The Caliph of Baghdad overture
Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel Overture
Haydn: Symphony No 103 in E flat Drum-roll
Free entry. Collection in aid of Our Lady Help of Christians new entrance


Ballet Performance and Concert - Thursday 26 March 2015, 7.30pm
(click on the poster for a larger version)



Informal concert: Thursday 2 July 2015, 8pm at Don Bosco Hall, Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Kentish Town
Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld overture
Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No 1
Schubert: Symphony No 3 in D

Summer ballet performance with orchestra, followed by a party
Sunday 12 July 2015 at the main Church Hall at Our Lady Help of Christians, Kentish Town
Chopin: Grande valse brillante, Op 18  (from Les Sylphides, arranged by Glazunov, with Rush in Ballet)
Tchaikovsky: Cygnets' Dance from Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker


Ballet and Orchestra Concert - Sunday 12 July 2015, 5.30pm



Concert - Thursday 17 March 2016, 8pm at Don Bosco Hall, Our Lady Help of Christians, Kentish Town:

Barry Stronge: Symphony No 8 (Allegro con brio; Andante; Allegro; Allegro)
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op 71a
Beethoven: Symphony No 3, Eroica

Concert: Thursday 30 June 2016, 8pm

Concert programme :
Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito overture
Lynn Norris: Let the Siren Sound (soloists: Lynn Norris and Katharine Norris) (first performance)
Michael Arne: The lass with the delicate air (soloist: Tiara Ataii) (first performance of new orchestration)
Tchaikovsky: Waltz of the Flowers
Haydn: Symphony No 93 in D

December Connections - Mornington Sinfonia



German Classics - Mornington Sinfonia



Northern Lights - Thursday 6 July 2017, 8:30pm - Grieg's Piano Concerto with Mariela Cingo



Concert - Thursday 7 December 2017, 8pm - Schubert, Wesley, Walther and Grieg


'From beyond the mountains ...' - Mornington Sinfonia concert on Thursday 22 March 2018, 8pm


Mornington Sinfonia concert on Thursday 28 June 2018, 8pm


Mornington Sinfonia concert on Thursday 6 December 2018

Read 'Music in Kentish Town' - a special Canadian feature preview of this concert


Mornington Sinfonia concert on Thursday 28 March 2019


Thursday 4th July 2019:
Beethoven: King Stephen Overture
: The Bartered Bride Overture
: Symphony in C



Since October 2008 we've had great fun playing Beethoven's King Stephen Overture, Smetana's The Bartered Bride overture, Bizet's Symphony in C, Schubert's Overture in the Italian Style in D, Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte, Schumann's Symphony No 1 in B flat (Spring), Hérold's Zampa Overture, Adrian Rumson's Violin Concerto  (with our leader, Elizabeth Ann Binks, as soloist) - we gave the first public performance, Mozart's Symphony No 41 (Jupiter), Sullivan's Iolanthe Overture, the slow movement of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto (soloist: Bryan Ogilvie), Dvořák's Slavonic Dances Op 46, 4 and 6, Beethoven's  Symphony No 1, Rossini's The Thieving Magpie overture, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 2 (Little Russian), Schubert's Symphony No 2, Grieg's Piano Concerto (twice, with soloists Mariela Cingo and Ioana Williams), Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, Hamish MacCunn's The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, Beethoven's Symphony No 2, Schumann's Symphony No 3, Ferdinand Hiller's Ein Traum in der Christnacht overture, Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel Overture, Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito overture, Lynn Norris' Let the Siren Sound, Michael Arne's The Lass with the Delicate Air, Haydn's Symphony No 93, Barry Stronge's Symphony No 8, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony, J Strauss II's Die Fledermaus Overture, Dvořák's Symphony No 9, the Delius Sleigh Ride, Chopin's Grande valse brillante Op 18 (from Les Sylphides, arranged by Glazunov), Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld overture, Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No 1, Schubert's Symphony No 3 in D, Tchaikovsky's Cygnets' Dance from Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker (both accompanying Rush in Ballet), Mozart's Magic Flute overture, Mozart's Voi che sapete from The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart's  Vedrai Carino from Don Giovanni (both with Eva Hurt, soprano), Vorisek's Symphony in D, Boieldieu's Caliph of Baghdad Overture, Haydn's Symphony No 103 in E flat (Drum-roll), Weber's Invitation to the Dance (arranged by Berlioz), Mozart's Symphony No 31 (Paris), Schubert's Rosamunde Overture, Beethoven's Symphony No 4, Haydn's Symphony No 104 in D, Butterworth's The Banks of Green Willow, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte overture, E Bach's Spring Awakening, Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony, Rossini: Overture The Silken Ladder, Mozart: Symphony No 40, Fauré: Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, Ravel: Pavane pour une infante defunte, Elgar: Enigma Variations, Schubert: Symphony No 6, Dvořák: Slavonic Dances Op 46 Nos 1-4, Johann Strauss II: The Blue Danube, J Strauss I: Radetzky March, Zena Robinson: Dika (parts I, II and III), Schumann's Genoveva Overture, Haydn's Symphony No 99, Mozart's Haffner Symphony, Suppé's overture Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna, Lutoslawski's Lacrimosa (with soprano soloist Eva Phoenix), Schubert's Symphony No 8 (Unfinished), Beethoven: Symphony No 7, Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Mendelssohn's Symphony No 4 (Italian), Mozart's Don Giovanni Overture, a new piece for harmonica and orchestra by Eva Phoenix, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite No 2, Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No 5, Mozart's Laudate Dominum (with soprano soloist Marije Rommes and Mary Mogil's Leon Singers), two of Copland's Old American Songs (again with soloist Marije Rommes), Weber's overture Der Freischutz, Schumann's Symphony No 2, Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite No 1, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (with our leader, Elizabeth Ann Binks, as soloist), Haydn's Symphony No 102 and Surprise Symphony, Beethoven's Fidelio Overture, Brahms' Symphony No 1, Mendelssohn's Symphony No 1, Rossini's overture The Italian Girl in Algiers, Dvořák's Symphony No 7, Brahms'  Academic Festival Overture, Haydn's Clock Symphony, Bruch's Violin Concerto (soloist: Ann Binks), Schubert's Marche Militaire No 1 (orchestrated by Richard Lawrence), Tchaikovsky's Little Russian Symphony, Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage overture, Schubert's Overture in the Italian Style (in C)Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony (No 5 in D minor), Dvořák's Symphony No 6, Weber's Euryanthe Overture and Elgar's Three Dances From the Bavarian Highlands.


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