From violin to viola Jean has been in the orchestra for 31 years!
“I first joined the All Souls Orchestra in 1987, starting with an evening service at All Souls. My husband, Gordon, had already joined the orchestra having been invited by Philip Shannon (violinist) a few years earlier. Starting off playing in the violin section, I soon migrated to the violas which I thoroughly enjoy. It has been one of the most important ways of using my music in ministry, especially when travelling on tours proclaiming the Gospel through music. The friendship and Christian fellowship we have, as well as playing all styles of music, is amazing and has been a great support to me in recent years. I feel very privileged to be part of such a great orchestra.
The memories that stand out most for me are the Scottish and Irish tours. These were up to two weeks travelling to venues for concerts, living together, socialising together and worshipping together. The other trip which I was privileged to do was one to Moscow in 1992 preparing the way for a Billy Graham Mission. It was amazing seeing the Russian people enjoy Christian music and secular western music (including West Side Story) alike and taking the gospel to them. Noël’s charismatic personality on the podium obviously makes the All Souls Orchestra unique and an inspiration to us all.
My favourite piece of music? I don’t think I have one. From an up beat ‘Happy Day’ to a Mozart Aria and anything in between is the hallmark of the ASO and it brings great enjoyment playing with such talented musicians.”
Tim Hughes’ ‘Happy Day’ is a powerful fast paced arrangement by Daniel Woolley which is very popular choice for special occasions or uplifting worship! Download your own copy for Full orchestra or Worship band set here.