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DO IT YOURSELF

19-02-2010

Ever looked up on stage and fancied a go yourself? Here’s a story of a man who managed to do just that, courtesy of the CBSO and their charity work.

A man from the Midlands with no performance experience and who could not read music left the stage of Symphony Hall triumphant on Wednesday after conducting the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra through a programme of his own choosing.

Peter Sinclair, 70, from Willenhall, won the opportunity to conduct the CBSO after beating off other bidders in the orchestra’s recent international charity eBay auction.

After leaving the stage, Peter, a recently retired business man described his feelings as, “Relief that I got through all the pieces without stopping. One musician even said to me afterwards ‘Look out for the contract,’ so I think that means I did okay!”

For this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Peter chose to conduct all his varied personal favourites, from Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 4 to Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The pieces represented different life experiences, including a piece by Charles Gounod that was Peter’s signature tune when he presented a radio show in America.

Violinist Zoë Beyers, who led the orchestra for Peter’s experience said, “It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve seen in my time here. To have a none-musician in front of us with all that commitment and love for the music flowing out of him was genuinely touching.”

“He’s put in such hard work and come so far, and as musicians we’re thrilled that his donation will also help others to enjoy the CBSO’s music through our education work,” she continued.

Peter’s generous eBay bid for the experience will go towards the CBSO’s Ignite programme that engages with over 53,000 people each year. This includes education work with young people and those with special needs, youth choruses and free ticket schemes for people in deprived areas of the West Midlands.

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