Essex Symphony Orchestra Reg. Charity No. 1000732

Site last updated on 15 May 2020

Spotlight on …

Hilary Cheek , Principal Viola, ESO

Not quite born but raised in Chelmsford, I’ve been associated with the Essex Symphony Orchestra for many years having been brought to concerts as a child by my parents. My first performance in the Orchestra was in November 1985 and I have served on the Committee as Treasurer and Librarian until appointed Secretary in 1998.

I started learning the violin aged nine progressing to Grade V before my teacher, Pat Beckett, suggested the viola. I loved the deeper, richer tone and, having realised that practice made a difference, never looked back!

I learnt orchestral technique and repertoire in the Essex Schools String Orchestra, Brentwood Youth, KEGS senior orchestra and in the National Youth Orchestra for 4 years, playing under inspirational conductors in some of the top concert halls in the country.

Subsequently I’ve played with Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra, Colne Philharmonic, Southend Symphony, the Kingfisher Sinfonietta and now lead the violas for both Essex and Colchester Symphony Orchestras.

Music is wonderfully varied- in the last 3 weeks I’ve performed a Louise Ferrenc piano quintet, played for a wedding and now tonight’s concert.

Spare time? Spent either in the garden, on the allotment, cleaning out the chickens or when it’s cold and wet, patchworking.