Banging the drum for St Albans Symphony Orchestra

DONORS are being invited to bang the drum for St Albans Symphony Orchestra (SASO) by contributing to a fundraising campaign to buy a big bass drum and other percussion instruments.

SASO has set a target of �1,500 to buy the instruments and will offer those who give generously a chance to bang the drum or clash the cymbals themselves during a rehearsal.

Said conductor Bjorn Bantock: “Until now we’ve simply hired a bass drum when we needed one. But our concert programme for the next 18 months include some thumping great works where it really would make sense to have a top-quality instrument of our own.

“For a start there are the two spectacular Russian works – Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony – that we will be performing at the Abbey for this year’s St Albans Festival on Saturday, June 25.

“We’re also planning a New Year ‘Festival of Britain’ preparing for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with famous marches by Coates, Elgar and Walton. And we’ll be following that with two performances of Verdi’s Requiem in March 2012 where the bass drum has a really dramatic contribution to make.”

The orchestra will be asking audiences to help with donations, no matter how small, to its drum fund. Anyone prepared to contribute �25 will be invited to play the drum at rehearsal while �100 or more from a business will secure a chance to bang the drum at a dress rehearsal in St Albans Abbey and a free advert in the concert programme.

Would-be donors can contact SASO’s press officer David Utting on