A TEENAGE girl is set to lead the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra as it begins its new concert season.

Leading the orchestra on Saturday night will be 15-year-old Bethan Allmand.

Now in her fifth year in the orchestra, she has risen quickly through the ranks and gained the respect of fellow players of all ages.

Conductor Mark Lansom had no hesitation in offering her the post, stating that if she was good enough, she was old enough.

A GCSE student at Rhosnesni High, Wrexham, she is also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and leader of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

She is the youngest leader of the orchestra in its 41-year history, beating the record of Hiroshi Amako, who was 17 when he was the leader.

The concert begins at 7.30pm on Saturday at the William Aston Hall. Mark Lansom, a local violin teacher, will be conducting Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony, the first violin concerto of Prokofiev, and Shostakovich’s Festive Overture.

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1969 by the late Bryn Williams, then senior lecturer of music at Cartrefle Teacher Training College in Wrexham. 

He gathered together a small number of local string players to put on a concert, and billed as the Clywedog Ensemble.

The gathering of musicians, conducted by Bryn Williams, and with local peripatetic violin teacher Keith Dawber as leader, was an apparent success, and after this initial concert they decided to expand the group to include woodwind and brass players.

The Wrexham and District Orchestral Society was born, with its performing arm more commonly known as the Wrexham Orchestra. It was not until 1992 that the orchestra changed its name again, this time to the current Wrexham Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the concert are available from Tourist Information Office or at the door.