Wrexham Symphony Orchestra has welcomed a deputy Vice-Chancellor and art student from the town’s university into its ranks for the first time.
The orchestra has been resident at the William Aston Hall, Wrexham Glyndwr University, where violinist Professor Claire Taylor works and cellist Zoe Harty studies fine art, since 1997.
Claire moved to the Wrexham area after being appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor last summer and joined the orchestra a few months later.
A musician since the age of eight, she holds a degree in music and education from the University of Cambridge. Claire has also played in amateur orchestras in Lincoln and London.
She said: “I wanted to play clarinet initially because that’s what my best friend at school was learning but there was no room for me so I took up violin instead.
“After graduating and throughout my career in education I wanted to carry on playing with local orchestras in order to be part of the musical community.
“It’s a great hobby to have outside of work and I’ve always found orchestras to be friendly. I’ve been warmly welcomed by everyone connected with Wrexham Symphony Orchestra.”
Zoe hails from a musical family in Chorley, Lancashire, and began playing cello aged six, eventually performing with the Bolton Youth Orchestra. She plays to grade eight standard but opted on art rather than music as the focus of a full-time career.
“I didn’t want music to become a chore so went down the art route as the focus of my career,” said Zoe.
“The orchestra is a great selling point for the university – it’s allowed me to carry on playing and fits perfectly around my studies with practice one evening every week.”
The orchestra, which celebrates its 50th year in 2019, recently commissioned students from the university to come up with a new logo and branding.
It has tasked graphic design students from the higher education institution to come up with a new logo and marketing imagery ahead of the celebration in the 2018-19 concert season.
A new design is now on the verge of being chosen following feedback from members of the orchestra. The new look will be implemented in time for the orchestra’s half-centenary landmark.
Wrexham Symphony Orchestra’s next concert is at the William Aston Hall, Wrexham Glyndwr University, on Saturday 1 July from 7.30pm.
The programme includes Gershwin’s An American in Paris, plus music by Glinka, Sibelius and Saint-Saens.
Tickets are available now from the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra website priced at £12 balcony, £10 stalls, £8 concessions (stalls) and £2 for Wrexham Glyndwr University students.