Harborough orchestra takes part in the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society awards after being shortlisted for national prize

They didn't win in their category but they said it was a 'true honour' to be nominated and to take part in the event

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:52 am
Updated Thursday, 11th November 2021, 9:54 am
Harborough's Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra took part in the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society awards in London.

A renowned Market Harborough orchestra has been taking part in the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society awards in London.

The town’s Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra and Scottish partner the Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra went to London’s Wigmore Hall for the Oscars of the classical music world.

They were presented by BBC Radio 3’s Katie Dereham.

Harborough's Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra took part in the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society awards in London.

The two groups had been jointly shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award after they took part in a pioneering cross-border project.

Produced for Maker Music Day in June this year, some 17 saxophonists from the two groups, playing seven different types of saxophone, united to record Julius Fučík’s rousing march ‘Entry of the Gladiators’.

Following a public vote which drew 4,667 responses, the award went to Hilary Campbell and Bristol Choral Society.

Jane Smith, of the Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra, said: “It is a true honour for us to have been shortlisted for this award.

Harborough's Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra took part in the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society awards in London.

“We’d like to thank everyone who voted for and supported us, and to congratulate the Bristol Choral Society and all our fellow nominees on their fantastic achievements.”

She added: “We are now looking forward to more joint projects with Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and maybe even some of the other Inspiration Award nominees too!

“Music has the power to unite us all, across borders.

“And we will be taking every opportunity we can to make music together and to continue to show the versatility of the saxophone in all genres of music, including classical.”

James Murphy, chief executive of the Royal Philharmonic Society, said: “Our expert panel decided on this year’s shortlist from countless groups nationwide, and all six nominees - who each received several hundred votes - are winners in our eyes.

“Phoenix and Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestras should feel justly proud to have brought recognition to their instrument - and indeed to wind bands and orchestras.

“They are a remarkable force for good and long may that continue.”

Foss Foster, of Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra, said: “It has been a delight working with our new friends in Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra.

“It just goes to show that distance needn’t to be an obstacle.

“We fully intend to carry on with a joint music-making programme, both live and digital.

“It is a massive boost to our efforts that the RPS has chosen to honour us and our saxophones this year - and the nomination has already helped us attract seven new players!”