Buxton’s Orchestra Days

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Ian Gregory, volunteer archivist at Buxton Museum, gives us some insight into another of the lesser-known collections he’s been working on:

For the last two weeks, I have been editing images of programmes for The Spa Orchestra of Buxton. These date from the 1940s and include summer seasons (May to September) and winter and Christmas concerts.

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There are, unsurprisingly, differences between live entertainment then and now but also parallels. The programmes are overwhelmingly Classical apart from a little Rodgers and Hammerstein and Irving Berlin. Many end with the National Anthem. There are names of composers now forgotten although many are still familiar.

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Nevertheless, there is a general parallel between then and now; present day Buxton has a thriving arts festival and fringe festival. The festival began in 1979 and has gone from strength to strength. The Buxton Fringe is now a good size with young people involved in live productions.

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