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December 2020 Newsletter

We hope everyone has been able to keep well leading up to Christmas and that you all have the opportunity to have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year break, despite the current restrictions that have limited the opportunity for us to meet up with family and friends for the festive period.

This will be the last Newsletter of what has proved to be a very challenging year for the Orchestra, which has included the cancellation of concerts, play-outs and an overseas concert tour. Rehearsals have also been limited to the online format, although we have been delighted at the number of our members that have continued to engage with us on a Saturday morning via Zoom.

We want to emerge from this pandemic ready to plough ahead with concerts and play-outs as soon as is possible and, with us continuing to make music as a group online, this will give us every opportunity to hit the ground running upon our return.

Thanks must go to our Musical Directors and Tutors, who have worked hard to make the rehearsal sessions a productive music experience for our members, including a Christmas recording for both our Junior and Intermediate Sections. A recording for our Senior Section is planned for the Spring Term.

A special thanks must also go to Shivani Islania at Surrey Arts, who has continued to undertake the administration work for CYWO to her usual high standards over the past year, including making all the Zoom rehearsal arrangements and managing our membership portfolio.

As things stand at the moment, it will come as no surprise to anyone that the commencement of the Spring Term rehearsals will be online and Surrey Arts are in the process of sending out details of the Zoom log in and confirmation of the rehearsal dates leading up to the half term break. Let us hope that, with the roll-out of the vaccine to the vulnerable in our community, there may be the opportunity for us to look positively at a return to rehearsals at Cordwalles by the Summer Term.


The online Open Morning on12 December was a great success, with over 22 children and their parents attending the presentation and instrument demonstrations. As a result of the promotion, we have received 15 applications to learn a musical instrument under the CYWO Tutor Programme, which offers a first full term of lessons funded through the generous bursary set up in memory of Sandra Kay, our former Orchestra Secretary, by her family. We are very grateful for the support Sandra's family continues to provide to the Orchestra, as we know that supporting young people in the furtherance of their music interests was always an important part of her time with CYWO.

In addition to those starting to learn an instrument, we are delighted to report that we have 5 new members joining our Junior Section in January 2021, with 4 of these having been beneficiaries of our funded Tutor Programme during the Autumn Term.


Both our Junior and Intermediate Sections are now available to view on the Surrey Arts YouTube channel - these can be played by selecting the link here. Well done to all those that took part in the recordings. We hope this was an enjoyable experience for you.


  • 9 January / 16 January / 23 January / 30 January

  • 6 February / 27 February

  • 6 March / 13 March / 20 March / 27 March


If any of our members would like us to include in a monthly Newsletter a particular item, or have answers to questions regarding the Orchestra and its activities, please email your request to and we will aim to cover this item in our next addition of the Newsletter. Don't forget, previous copies of our monthly Newsletters can be found on our web site (

Thanks for your continued support to CYWO during 2020.

Brian Hopper


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