The Harmony Interviews: Episode 3
Our rehearsals for our upcoming concert of The Planets and The Perfect Fool on Saturday 23rd November are going well, as are our Planets-themed breaktime snacks!
We're also enjoying getting to know our members a bit better in our current blog series, The Harmony Interviews. This week we are meeting Jon Cooley, another Harmony veteran who keeps the brass section in line!
What instrument do you play with Harmony Sinfonia?
And what is your day job?
Now retired, I previously worked as a mental health services manager. Now big in leisure.
Do you have another role within the orchestra?
I’m the Vice Chair fulfilling a number of functions as a general sweeper, and have recently taken on fixing and venue liaison. I’m also on the marketing committee despite my minimal social media exposure.
How long have you been playing with Harmony Sinfonia?
Since the beginning of time. I was involved with Lindsay Sharon and Isobel in setting up the orchestra in 2009 as an attempt to fill a classical music void in Lewisham.
Do you play any other instruments with any other groups?
Not to my knowledge, but I play horn in quite a number of ensembles in and around London.
Why is music important to you?
It’s a major obsession occupying 70% of my RAM, and has been since childhood. I blame my parents.
What are your favourite pieces ever played with Harmony Sinfonia?
The Three-Cornered Hat by Falla, VW 2nd, Shostakovich’s 12th and Bruckner’s 4th. I’m a bit preoccupied with Bruckner. People may have noticed.
What's been your favourite rehearsal "moment" with Harmony Sinfonia?
Each week brings new revelations and witty repartee!
And your favourite concert moment?
You cant beat major organ failure just before the finale of Saint Saens Organ Symphony. All credit to Lindsay and our then Leader Paul for entertaining the troops for 20 minutes. But there have been some really exciting musical performances where things have ’lifted off’ in the heat of the moment. Thinking of that Shostakovich (and No 5) for example.
How would you say that Harmony Sinfonia has developed since you've been there?
It's always had a great vibe and we’ve always worked hard to raise our game on the day to produce exciting if not always note-perfect performances.
What do you like the most about playing with Harmony Sinfonia?
The people - many of whom are like old chums
What's been your favourite venue and why?
There’s no question that St Margaret's Church is by far the most comfortable, welcoming and well-organised of our locations
What is your overall favourite Harmony Sinfonia memory?
Some great post-match apres-ski.
And most importantly of all... how do you rate the biscuits?!
Top tucker in town – I’ve sampled many other band’s fare – all in the name of market research you understand!