HLO is based in the village of Hale, near Altrincham, on the south Manchester/Cheshire border. We specialize in rehearsing and performing orchestral works from the extensive light classical music repertoire, as exemplified by the compositions of Frederic Curzon, Eric Coates, Robert Farnon, Haydn Wood, Percy Fletcher and Leroy Anderson to name just a few. We particularly focus on those works from the 'golden era' of radio broadcasting, musicals and film production from the early 1900's and beyond.
Latest From an initial membership of 14 local musicians, many of whom still play regularly with us, the orchestra now has approximately 35 players, representing all instrumental sections. All of our players are amateur musicians, drawn from all walks of life, and are united in their passion for, and enjoyment of, light classical orchestral music.
Following its inauguration in 1988, and until 2001, the orchestra was directed by Laurie Jones, a retired local music teacher who was instrumental in fostering the orchestra’s appreciation and enjoyment of light music. Laurie devoted endless time to the orchestra, arranging an eclectic array of music for the enjoyment of its musicians and audiences. He will always be fondly remembered by all members of the orchestra and the scores of other musicians who have been privileged to come under his musical influence and enthusiastic guidance.
From September 2002 until early 2018, the orchestra were very fortunate to have Alan Nuttall as our Musical Director and conductor. Alan brought a wealth of musical knowledge, experience and guidance to the orchestra for which we are extremely indebted. During 2018 - 2019, we were fortunate to be directed by Robert Clack, and more recently, 2019 - 2020 by gifted teacher, music scholar and conductor Charlotte Read. Charlotte has rehearsed and guided the orchestra through increasingly difficult times, and we managed to be able to perform a concert in early 2020 before the recent lockdown. A significant achievement.
Over the years, the orchestra has had a number of notable guest conductors including the Light Music Society President, the late Ernest Tomlinson.