Welcome to our Letters page.


If you wish to write to us on any aspect of orchestral music, what you like or dislike, what you want to hear, we'd like to hear from you and may post your letter on this page.  Send your letters to admin@cosc.co.uk.  Don't be shy!  Your views matter.



Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed FNIMN on 25th Jan. about opera.
Wonderful choice of music, good performers and as, usual, orchestra were wonderful.
Fantastic evening. Hurry home, orchestra. We will miss you.

David & Monica Gardner





I have just opened the website after hearing about it at last night’s AGM. The Stein gallery is brilliant and information about the players in the

orchestra welcome and interesting. In fact, it’s a great website. Congrats to webmaster Stephen Greenhaugh.


I should like to attend rather more BBCCO concerts than I currently do but shrink at the idea of travelling into London at night from my Bushey home. I am first to book for any Watford Colosseum concerts, however, and hope for many more.


Susi Addleman




Hi Stephen
Just wanted to let you know how good it is to be back in the FNIMN routine. Really good shows so far and special mention to Barbara Windsor who yet again,
spent the interval touring the audience signing autographs having pictures taken and just meeting people.

We were fortunate to see Johannes Willdner at AGM who gave us a most interesting question and answer session conducted by Marcus Broome. Thanks to all the committee who work hard to make being a club member a joyful experience.

Kind regards

David & Monica Gardner




Friday Night Is Music Night for 23rd December, 2011 was recorded at the Mermaid Theatre on Friday 16th December, 2011.  The evening was a tribute to Leslie Bricusse and was well received by an enthusiastic audience.  The BBC Concert Orchestra was on top form and the guest singers, who included a children's choir, were excellent. 



Here are some comments from our members...............

Saturday Dec 17th
 Oh WOW! Were you at the Mermaid last night? If not you missed a super concert, but don't despair, you can listen this Friday when the concert will be broadcast.
Compered by Sir Michael Parkinson, we were treated to a trio of singers with an eight piece backing group, singing songs from the shows written by Leslie Bricusse. After the interval the orchestra and singers were joined by the Finchley schools choir and at the end we heard the first broadcast of a new song.
What a delightful evening we had which we will all remember for a long time.
A very Merry Christmas to you all.
      Barry Trimmer


With the opening bars to the theme tune of 'Goldfinger' still fresh in my mind, I thought I'd take the time to thank you for the tickets to last night's recording at the Mermaid of FNIMN, featuring the music of Leslie Bricusse.
It was a really special evening celebrating the very best of musical theatre with the orchestra in customary fine form, superbly supported by 3 excellent performances from stars of the West End stage.
I was amazed how many hits came from the pen of Bricusse and how familiar much of his catalogue was to so many of us lucky enough to be in the audience.
I am very much looking forward to listening to the recording of the concert and am hopeful that my eleventh hour Christmas request for a Hannah Waddington 2012 Calendar hasn't fallen on deaf ears...though I suspect it has!
Seasons greetings to you and all club members and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.
David Simpson
Crawley, West Sussex



Good Morning Stephen
Wanted to tell you just what a fabulous night we had at the Mermaid for Lesley Bricusse tribute night.
Wonderful singers, wonderful children's choir and our usual party munching in the queue beforehand.
Good finale for 2011. Many more for 2012 ......we hope

Merry Christmas to all members. Happy, healthy New Year

Monica Gardner



Dear All,
Is there anybody who might have taken or know the whereabouts of a photo of Sidney Torch conducting. He never gave me back the sketch I drew of him showing his back view, which he said he would have reduced down so it could be engraved onto a set of cufflinks! Would be very grateful to hear if anybody has such a view, as I have checked with the BBC, Abbey Road Studios (where I did the sketch) and Lebrecht Libraries, through Norman direct, none of them having anything at all!
Ronald Stein
(whose Mother was one of Sidney’s Cousins)





Dear Stephen,

I attended a few weeks ago the FNIMN Classic Brit Awards at the Mermaid, and was horrified at the content of the show! It was really like an end of term party for teenagers.

I have told Brian about this (he was not there, as he was ill) and have also complained to the BBC.

The show was so bad that I left at the interval (this is only the second time that I have done this in recent years.)

Anyway, I do hope that this kind of show is never repeated on a FNIMN, as like the majority of seasoned listeners, I could not stand what I was hearing.

On a brighter note, I see that you are a lover of Gilbert and Sullivan. Well, I am also and like to go to the annual Buxton Festival when time permits. If you have not been, I heartily recommend it!! In addition, I also am an admirer of Albert Ketelby's wonderful music (e.g. "Bells across the Meadows"). Sadly, this music is hardly ever heard nowadays.

Keep up the good work, and I hope to meet you sometime.

With very best wishes,

Alistair Wills



There is no doubt the content of Friday Night Is Music Night has changed over the past five years.  What do you think of these changes?  Are they to the good or do you feel that they have gone too far?  Have your say.

I asked Alistair to recount his experience of the Buxton Festival.  Here is his reply.



Dear Stephen,

I am happy to tell you and others in the Club about my last visit to Buxton! Unfortunately, I do not have any photos!

This took place a few years ago, when I went with some friends to see some G & S shows at the annual International Gilbert and Sullivan Buxton Festival. This was started by Ian Smith and his son in 1994 to enhance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the works of G & S.

This G & S extravaganza happens in the first three weeks of August and the venue is the Buxton Opera House, a grand Edwardian building built in 1903. In the week that we were there, we were fortunate to see three fine shows, The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance and The Yeoman of the Guard.  They were each perfomed by different G & S companies, one of which was American! I happen to live in St Albans, and one of my local operatic groups, the Abbots Langley Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society, normally appear at Buxton every year.

People come from all over the country to Buxton, and some come year after year. It is a very friendly place!

We stayed in a guest house in Dovedale, a lovely spot which is excellent for walking and general sightseeing. The historic market town of Ashbourne was near and this is well worth visiting too. For churchgoers, there is a special G & S service on the second Sunday at the local Methodist Church. This year, Rev Dr Ian Bradley, an ordained Church of Scotland minister, who has written a book on G & S, is taking part in the service.    

I would encourage any lover of G & S to go to Buxton. Bookings for the popular shows always sell out quickly, so it is a good idea to book well in advance.

With kind regards,


Thank you Alistair.  A visit is on my agenda for next year!  I would be delighted to hear from other Gilbert & Sullivan fans.




Just wanted to thank you for another edition of the club magazine. Always good to catch up on latest news.
David & Monica Gardner



Just wanted to let you know how wonderful the Ultimate Classics concert was at Fairfield Hall, Croydon, on 1st May. The choice of music for Pictures at an Exhibition was delightful and varied. From quiet gentle music to drum banging Gates of Kiev for finale.

What a great repertoire the orchestra have from the  recent exciting Hollywood meets Bollywood to Mussorgsky. orch. Ravel last night.

What a pity many more people did not take the opportunity to come along and enjoy our wonderful orchestra.
David & Monica Gardner



Hi Jenny and Brian,

I have just discovered the website thanks to the new Soirees Musicales. Great stuff, really well designed and informative, as is the magazine – as always.

Thanks again for all the work you do on behalf of the club.

Best wishes,

Susi Addleman

Thank you Susi, it's a pleasure.


Just wanted to say what a wonderful week we have enjoyed with the magnificent Concert Orchestra. Their performance with Piers Lane at Watford for Discovering Music was superb. A thrilling event. We did not think it could get any better until FNIMN at the Mermaid with Keith Lockhart and movie music.

The whole thing was absolutely fantastic from the choice of music to the performances. The orchestra worked so, so hard all night playing such thrilling music and they even played Pirates of the Caribbean. This should have been recorded and sold as a CD but we understand copyright costs prevent this.

I  thought I had died and gone to heaven. It just does not get any better than this. We were so lucky to be there.

Just part of the wonder of the BBC Concert Orchestra.

David & Monica Gardner



Dear Brian,

We are writing to thank you very much indeed for the lovely Concert Orchestra CD. This excellent recording really shows off the versatility of the Concert Orchestra and provides over an hour of very happy listening. We would like to express our grateful thanks to all the members of the Orchestra who gave their performance and to the Club for meeting all the costs of recording & distribution. A really superb Christmas present, and we feel very lucky to be members of such a fine organisation.

We would also like to tell you how much we and our companions enjoyed the FNIMN recording we attended at the Mermaid on 20th November, 2009. This was the concert in which several members of the Orchestra were able to demonstrate their skills with their own instruments as soloists while being accompanied by the Orchestra. This novel idea really paid off and the result was a highly unusual and very enjoyable concert. Many thanks for making the tickets available to us, and we can hardly wait to hear it all again on the air in March.

Yours sincerely

John & Audrey Day.



We have had a wonderful response to the members CD.  Here are a few.......


"Best CD l've ever had. Bought loads, none as good as this" Elizabeth Christie

"Only received it this morning and played it twice already" Peter Earlsden

"This is the kind of music they do best" Doug French.

"Thanks for CD - Brilliant!" Roderick Elms

"Mother's CD arrived this morning, She's over the moon with it" Stephen

"Many thanks for CD. What a splendid collection!  Brian Kay

"Very many thanks for the CD just received.  Brilliant choice of music.  My morning plans are out of the window, I shall now put the kettle on- nice cuppa, biscuit tin, put the CD on and listen.  Ah bliss."  Susan Killick

"Just wanted to say how much we appreciate the free CD....... It is a really good compilation of music"  Monica Gardner



David and Monica Gardner write about the Performance on 3 concert by the Orchestra which was broadcast on Tuesday 13th October, 2009

Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the European Light Music concert at Watford Colosseum on Tuesday last.
Wonderful selection of some lovely old music played by the best orchestra in the world.

Good to see Barry Wordsworth conducting and especially good to see members of the orchestra showcased i.e. Ileana Ruhemann.  Don't often get the chance to see the individual talent within the orchestra. Rebecca Bottone was a delight too.  
Good luck with the new website.
Kind regards
David  & Monica  Gardner



A very welcome letter from Tonbridge.....

Congratulations - an informative and easy to understand website.

With thanks for all your work.
Best wishes
Diane and Susan Killick
Members of the Supporters Club




Ronald Stein writes about the concert held at Finchley for members on Saturday 26th September 2009.....

Thank you for your very entertaining lecture last night. I am still kicking myself as to the link between Jeremy Brett and your question about him. I had no idea he was up to partnering June in the exert you played, only admiring his TV speaking voice, which does not give a clue as to how his singing voice would sound! Did you also know Nigel Douglas was the brother of the Leigh-Pemberton, Governor of the Bank of England?
Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dino_Borgioli) is the only relevant piece of information on Dino. which confirms my suspicion he was definitely involved in the Music Art and Drama organisation based at the Cambridge Theatre in the late 1940's, founded by a countryman of my Father's, Jay Pomeroy, with Opera, Symphony concerts, etc., with the New and London Symphony Orchestras, which I attended to start my sketching career of orchestras, choirs, famous instrumental and vocal soloists, etc. (copy of last night's quick sketch of the Quartet for reference).
Ronald Stein
P.S..My Mother was Sidney Torch's cousin, and my Father lent him his tuxedo for his first engagement!
P.P.S. I wonder what the Quartet should be called? Having had the Aeolian String Quartet as a client, and sketched many others, it is difficult to suggest any particular name.

We think Ronald is a very talented artist.  What do you think?  Check out his gallery here

And he writes further:

An inspired thought led me to the confirmation of my theory on Dino Borgioli, through the death of Ian Wallace, and the suddenly remembered name of Murray Dickie in the Obituary below. This confirms Dino in my Cambridge Theatre memories.