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Winchmore String Orchestra: Concert in memory of Joan Bayliss

Saturday 15 July 7.30pm

Southgate (The Bourne) Methodist Church, The Bourne, N14 6RS

202306 winchmore strings

Concert in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research, in memory of Joan Bayliss

Winchmore String Orchestra
Conductor and soloist: Gonzalo Acosta
Leader: Chris Gundry
Registered charity 1070537

  • Rachmaninov: Vocalise
  • Karlowitz: Serenade
  • Vivaldi: Spring and Summer (The Four Seasons)
  • Elgar: Serenade
  • Britten: Simple Symphony

Tickets £10 available from orchestra members or email

Children admitted free if accompanied by an adult

Honouring Joan

joan bayliss holding a violinWhen the WSO was formed in 1991 one of its founder-members was Joan Bayliss. An accomplished violinist, trained at the Royal Academy of Music, she was placed next to the orchestra’s leader, Chris Gundry, on the first desk of the first violins.

The leader of an orchestra has various duties, not least of which is to support the conductor, give guidance to other players as necessary and in general represent them to the conductor and to the audience. There is no job description for the person sitting next to the leader, but he or she is at the centre of the action, and between them they are the powerhouse of the music-making factory that is the orchestra.

Chris continues to be our leader, and, from the beginning until illness no longer allowed her, Joan was his stalwart first-desk partner – unshowy, always good-humoured, and an object lesson in unflappable competence. Sadly, Joan died in January, having for the previous couple of years been unable to take part in the orchestra, and our summer concert is dedicated to her memory with the deep affection of those who knew her both as a fellow-performer and a friend. For many years Joan had also been a member of the North London Symphony Orchestra, whose concert in March similarly honoured her.

Born and brought up in Sunderland, where she was head girl at Monkwearmouth Grammar School, Joan studied piano and violin at the RAM before taking up a career as a teacher, including a stint teaching children with learning difficulties and children with dyslexia. She was also an elder and secretary of the Palmers Green United Reformed Church.

Much of the programme at our concert, which includes several core works from the string orchestra repertoire, would have been thoroughly familiar to Joan. They range from the beguiling Serenade by ELGAR to Spring and Summer from VIVALDI’s Four Seasons violin concertos, in which the soloist is our conductor, Gonzalo Acosta. In contrast, we have the beautifully-crafted Simple Symphony of Benjamin BRITTEN, completed as a young man but based on tunes he had written as a child. The programme also includes a string version of RACHMANINOV’s wordless song Vocalise and another, but less well-known Serenade – by the Late-Romantic Polish composer Mieczyslaw KARLOWICZ.

The WSO is a community string orchestra and a registered charity (No 1070537). We give three concerts a year, which support local and national charities, and we welcome new players of a good standard.  Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at the church where we hold our concerts.  For further information please email as above, or visit our website:

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