St Albans Abbey Gateway Orchestra celebrates 50 years with sell-out show

SA Abbey Gateway Orchestra rehearsing at Kingsbury Barn

SA Abbey Gateway Orchestra rehearsing at Kingsbury Barn - Credit: Archant

A long-established orchestra celebrated its Golden Jubilee with a sell-out gala performance at an historic barn.

At St Pancras Station

At St Pancras Station - Credit: Archant

The St Albans Abbey Gateway Orchestra played in front of over 140 people to mark the occasion at the 14th century Kingsbury Barn in St Michael’s village, St Albans.

The programme included works by Crusell, Beethoven, Edgar and Vaughan Williams as well as pieces from two local composers who are also orchestra members, one of whom was conductor Martin Beach.

The orchestra has been through several variations and moved locations in St Albans in the past 50 years before settling in St Michael’s village. Among the founding members is viola player Roger Martin and the orchestra leader Keith Cotton has notched up 40 years.

Concert-goers were treated to celebratory interval drinks on the lawn of the barn which was built in 1374 and restored six years ago through the dedication of Jill Singer and her family.

The orchestra’s new rehearsal year starts in September and new members are welcome. Rehearsals are held every Thursday evening at St Michael’s primary school. For further details visit or contact chairman Andrew Jenkinson on