THE Westmorland Youth Orchestra is in fine form with a near record of 60 players within its highly-respected ranks and another concert coming up next week.

Staged at Kirkby Lonsdale’s Queen Elizabeth School, conductor Roland Fudge has drawn up another interesting and entertaining programme for the Saturday, March 29 (7.30pm) performance, which is built around Fredrik Holm, a Swedish-born professional bassoonist, who lives at Lancaster.

Entitled Sounds of Scandinavia, the concert features, not only Fredrik’s own Foot-Paths, A Bassoon Concerto, From Darkness To Light, in which he will be soloist, but also orchestral delights from the same region in Jean Sibelius’ Karelia Suite and Edvard Grieg’s Elegiac Melodies.

Led by Holly Chalcraft, the WYO opens with Sibelius’ Finlandia composed in 1899, a strongly nationalistic piece in which the composer encourages his fellow countrymen to rise up against the yoke of Imperial Russia; his Karelia Suite celebrates Sibelius’ favourite region of Finland.

Norwegian composer Grieg's Elegiac Melodies (Heart's Wound, Last Spring) express the typically Scandinavian connection between intense emotion and the natural environment.

And WYO's principal flautist, Ellen Gibson, provides a brilliantly entertaining contrast, with English composer Mark Brewer's piccolo showpiece The Comet.

Welcome music will be courtesy of JFS All Stars, the WYO’s own jazz group, led by bassist Stuart Lewthwaite, which has a 45-minute run through before the orchestra’s main rehearsal each Friday night.

Yet another top night of music in prospect from certainly one of the best and most innovative youth orchestras in the north of England.

Tickets at the door or in advance on 015395-60054.