John Avery

John Avery took over from Mike as Conductor, giving his first concert on 4th Feb 1995 – a film and television music spectacular. John was affectionately known in the profession as “the lightning conductor”, not only because of his penchant for bright tempi, but also because of hectic dashing from studios to concert halls to theatres. His list of conducting credits includes engagements for film, TV and radio in the UK and Europe. He conducted at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn, and even conducted the music at Wembley Stadium for an international soccer match! The orchestra made great progress under John's direction, and notable highlights were the town- twinning trips to Oberursel in November 1999, where the orchestra joined forces with the local string orchestra, and Meudon in March 2002, where it shared a concert with the Choeur de Meudon, having previously collaborated with the Choir when it visited the UK in May 1998. Back home, concerts had for some time been entirely self-promoted, and the orchestra was giving four or five public concerts a year in a range of venues in Camberley, Aldershot, Farnborough, Hartley Wintney and its birthplace Yateley. John proved especially popular with audience and players alike, as evidenced by the lavish farewell party held in his honour in 2003 when he moved house to Portugal.