North Norfolk Orchestra Society musical director Freddie Pointer set to retire

The musical director of the North Norfolk Orchestral Society, Freddie Pointer, is retiring after 22 years.

The orchestra was originally set up in 1990 as an adult education class by Mr Pointer's wife Su, the then centre head of adult education for Sheringham and Holt.

As the News reported at the time, it was an 'outlet for frustrated musicians who have nowhere to play once they have left school, college or university.'

The first evening saw 12 people turn up, with an assortment of musical instruments, providing an interesting challenge for Mr Pointer, who was also at the time the church organist and choirmaster at St Peter's Sheringham and head of music at Paston school and college.

Looking back on that first evening, Mr Pointer, now 79, said: 'At our first meeting we had a variety of instruments: violins, violas and cellos with a few wind players.

'The enthusiasm with which players who were more experienced helped those whose instruments had not been touched for several years was brilliant and they were soon able to start enjoying making music.

'Looking back over the intervening years, we've had many memorable moments including one particular concert, just before Christmas, when the lights in the church failed and so the audience held candles so that the players could see their music. Ironically enough, one of the pieces we played was Let Us Light A Candle. It was very difficult to keep our composure and continue to the end!'

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Mr Pointer, who lives at Aylmerton, is very well-known in North Norfolk music circles, having also been, at times over the last 50 years, musical director for Sheringham Savoyards, Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society and Cromer and Sheringham Operatic Society.

On average NNOS presents two or three concerts each year in various local churches and village halls. it has more than two dozen current members.

All the proceeds go either to the host venue or to a chosen charity e.g the East Anglian Air Ambulance Trust or the Alzheimer's Society. To date NNOS has raised and donated some �25,000.

The orchestra has appointed Overstrand musician Keith Hobday as Mr Pointer's successor. He will be picking up the baton from April 17.

? Anyone wanting to find out more about the society should contact chairman Brian Pymer on 01263 514916 or email su5@btinternet.com

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