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Civic pride marks orchestra's 150 years.

THE150th anniversary of Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra was marked with a civic reception.

About 200 people attended the event at Huddersfield Town Hall, including past and present conductors and most of the current orchestra.

There were speeches from the orchestra's longest-serving member, cellist Paul Michelson, who has been a member for almost 56 years, current president Peter Lewis and Kirklees Mayor Clr Eric Firth.

The orchestra can trace its roots back to 1862, when a Unitarian Minister based in Fitzwilliam Street, the Rev J H Thomas, formed what became known as Mr Thomas' Band.

It then changed its name to the Fitzwilliam Street Philharmonic Orchestra, later giving its first concert as Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra, in that name, on February 7, 1885.

Clr Firth, said: "Last year my predecessor as mayor hosted a similar event to mark the 175th anniversary of Huddersfield Choral.

"How lucky we are to have two wonderful amateur organisations whose reputation extends well beyond the Kirklees boundary and of whom we can be so rightly proud.

"The Phil's history is marked by firsts. It has encouraged and promoted local soloists and choirs. It continues to provide an opportunity for many of the talented young musicians.

"Through concerts and recordings, the Phil has gained a worldwide reputation.'' The orchestra will be joined by Huddersfield Choral Society for a concert at Huddersfield Town Hall on Saturday, April 28, at 7.30pm.

They will perform Beethoven's Choral Symphony No 9 and the world premiere of Arthur Butterworth's Symphony No 7. Mr Butterworth was the orchestra's conductor for 30 years until 1993.

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* SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY: At the 150th anniversary of Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra are Mayor Clr Eric Firth, left, with Deputy Lord Lt of West Yorkshire, Major Sui Cheung, orchestra clarinetist Bart Naughton and president of the Huddersfield Philharmonic, Peter Lewis, right (AC080312Fphil-02)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2012
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