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Two Toys Short of a Symphony

Posted at 9:38 AM on April 11, 2008 by Fred Child

The Hitchin Symphony Orchestra, northwest of London, has plans for a concert next weekend. The local paper, The Comet, has an urgent request on behalf of the orchestra. Read on.

The Hitchin Symphony Orchestra is desperately seeking toy instruments to perform the Toy Symphonies by Leopold Mozart and Sir Malcolm Arnold at St Mary's Church in Hitchin on Saturday, April 19.

Conductor Paul Adrian Rooke was hoping to entertain the audience with the pieces composed for toy instruments but has found it very difficult to track down all the correct ones.

Mr Rooke said: "The orchestra is short of toy trumpets in G, C and F, a whistle in C sharp minor and a rattle. The trumpets in G and C are simple instruments which can play only one note. The trumpet in F is a bit more complicated and plays three different notes. The whistle is even more complicated and plays a three note chord. It sounds just like the whistles on the old American trains. Lastly, the rattle is a good old-fashioned rattle which you used to see at football matches.

"If any of the readers of The Comet know where I can get hold of any of these instruments, I should be most grateful. Otherwise I shall have to go to the gardening centre and do something drastic with a hosepipe!"

The concert begins at 7.30pm and will also include Beethoven's Symphony No 2 and Robert Simpson's Symphony No 2, on real sized instruments. Tickets are available by calling 01462 458614.


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