THEY have a proud history stretching back more than 120 years.

And the members of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra hope to have just as distinguished a future.

The orchestra, which has just presented a hugely-successful concert at Huddersfield Town Hall, has registered for the Examiner Wish project.

They hope to boost their funds to enable them to stage more concerts in the future.

Fundraising for the group is a perennial problem, as secretary Chris Woodhead explained: “We put on these very big concerts, such as Puccini’s Tosca earlier in October, and they are mammoth undertakings.

“Our next big concert at Huddersfield Town Hall is in January and that will feature works by Radvilovic, Britten and Shostakovich.

“That last work, his Symphony No 4, will require the orchestra to be augmented. We have about 60 players at the moment, but we will need to bring in extra to take the number on the night to 85.

“Staging a show of that scale does not come easy and there is a lot of work to do, both musically and from the administrative point of view.

“We are proud of our history and our heritage.

“For more than 120 years we have been making music and we are proud that over that time we have given a huge number of concerts enjoyed by many thousands of people and also had thousands of amateur musicians come through our ranks.

“We actively encourage children and young people to get involved and we try and bring in professional musicians of very high standing for our concerts.”

The orchestra meets each Monday evening in Slaithwaite Civic Hall for rehearsals, many under the watchful eye of their professional music director Benjamin Ellin who has a national and international reputation.

He’s in good company for in its history the orchestra has worked with many top performers.

It was back in 1891 that a group of musicians met up in Slaithwaite to start a ‘Philharmonic Band’.

In its long history it has experienced both triumph and disaster but for some years now it has enjoyed uninterrupted success – recognised by the award of the National Federation of Music Societies’ Sir Charles Groves Prize in 1993 and a Performing Rights Society Enterprise Award in 1991 and again in 1996.