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Tickets selling fast for festive music treat 8 December 2008

Only a handful of tickets remain for the Manx Youth Orchestra's Christmas Festival Concert this Saturday (December 13).

The event at 7.30pm in the Royal Hall of the Villa Marina features the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Orchestras, the Manx Youth String Orchestra, the Manx Youth Wind Orchestra, the Manx Youth Guitar Ensemble and the Swing Band. It is one of the highlights of the Department of Education Music Service's packed calendar.

In total, 250 performers aged seven to 19 will be performing under seven conductors. The programme will include a wide range of styles of music, traditional and modern, including Ravel's Bolero, the world premiere of Concertino for Guitar and Orchestra by Andy Usher, a local music student, and a selection of songs from the musical Les Miserables, in honour of the forthcoming production on the Island.

Andy Usher is a Year 13 student at Castle Rushen High School. He plays the clarinet and the saxophone in the orchestra and is hoping to pursue a career in music as a guitarist.

The current leader of the orchestra is Tom Callister-Wafer, a student at Queen Elizabeth II High School.

Over the years the Manx Youth Orchestra has raised thousands of pounds for charity through its concerts. Generous sponsorship for this event from the Bank of Ireland and the Friends of the Manx Youth Orchestra means proceeds can be divided between the orchestra itself and the Friends of the Manx Diabetes Centre.

Head of Music Service Maggie Richardson said: ‘This concert is a glittering occasion in the presence of His Excellency Sir Paul and Lady Haddacks. It is always a highlight of the Island's festive celebrations and all are most cordially welcome.’

It is the orchestra’s first concert under its new patron, the composer James MacMillan CBE.

Tickets, from £6-£8, are available from the Villa Marina box office (694555).

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