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Orchestra’s 15-year stint has ‘gone in a flash’

06 April, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Community choir

GUESTS attending a concert at St Luke’s Church wished “happy birthday” to every corner of the building on Monday.

London Symphony Orchestra celebrated 15 years of holding community events at the formerly derelict church in Old Street by showcasing the talents of residents.

A community choir, open to those who live or work in EC1, performed folk songs from Hokkaido in northern Japan. Themes of the songs varied from lost love to the perils of fishing.

A gamelan player

A gamelan performance – traditional ensemble music from Indonesia – entertained guests during the second half of the concert. Residents and workers who make up the 20-strong group meet once a week to practise playing their percussive instruments.

“The 15 years have gone in a flash,” said centre director Karen Cardy, speaking to the Tribune afterwards. Ms Cardy, who has worked for the orchestra for 21 years, added: “What’s really nice is coming up with new partners to hold events with at St Luke’s. We have new residencies coming up with the London A Cappella Festival. I enjoy meeting new people and coming up with new programmes.”

Despite being a grade I-listed building, St Luke’s lay empty for more than 40 years until the LSO helped transform the venue. The church houses rehearsals of the London Symphony Orchestra, whose main concerts take place a stone’s throw away at the Barbican Centre.

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