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Former WestcountryTelevision Presenter Teresa Driscoll Mulls Over Devon's Local Music Scene

PUBLISHED: 21:48 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 09:52 20 February 2013

Orchestral Manoeuvres

Orchestral Manoeuvres

Teresa Driscoll finds herself being firmly conducted towards the local music scene<br/><br/><br/><br/>A funny thing, chance meetings. The day I met the Devon-based conductor Simon Ible was one of those ground-swallow-me-up moments.

Teresa Driscoll finds herself being firmly conducted towards the local music scene

A funny thing, chance meetings. The day I met the Devon-based conductor Simon Ible was one of those ground-swallow-me-up moments. I mistook him for a crime writer, which could be misconstrued as an insult.

I should explain. My new life as a writer has taken me into delicious new circles, one of which involves occasional lunches organised by the Society of Authors. Being a new girl on the fiction block, I am a tad nervous at these affairs - always worried that I will put my foot in it, failing to recognise some highly successful scribe. Everyone helpfully wears labels with their names but the details of their writing is notated on a separate list which once consigned to my handbag leaves me in a dither trying to work out who everyone is.

So I'm sitting in this Plymouth hotel lounge bar next to a very nice gentleman labelled Simon Ible who, to me, has the look of a jolly good crime writer - wondering when I might dip into my handbag to confirm which publisher he's with. Meantime I am boring everyone with the research for my latest writing which requires me to sit in on the rehearsals of an orchestra. "I will have to phone a press officer," I trill, "Unless anyone here happens to know a conductor? Ha ha ha..."

It's at this point that he leans forward to confirm ever so patiently that he happens to conduct Devon's professional Ten Tors chamber orchestra and would be glad to assist me... leaving my face matching the red, spills-friendly carpet.

Turns out Simon had been invited to the lunch in his role as the director of Peninsula Arts and has since not only assisted with my research but has reminded me about one of the many things on my list of 'culture vulture things to do now I have more time' post Spotlight. Namely, more live music.

Bit like going to the gym for me, this one. I don't need to be persuaded of the benefits. I love music. Problem is I'm lazy about booking tickets. I used to have the excuse of a live TV programme finishing dangerously close to curtains up. But no excuses now. And a quick glance through the Devon Life pages shames me into remembering how spoilt we are for choice of gorgeous venues across the county.

I have also discovered through Simon that musicians can be as crazy as the folk working in telly. Among my favourite anecdotes is the day Simon raised his baton to open a concert only to discover one of his musicians missing. A pause for investigations discovered him locked (by an over zealous security guard) behind railings outside during a quick, pre-concert cigarette break to steady the nerves!

But for now I'm getting my act together. First move - to be bowled over at the

Pavilions in Plymouth for the gala finale of an international festival organised by Simon and the Ten Tors. This included bringing the Philharmonia orchestra to Plymouth along with world famous opera soprano Maria Ewing, Russian star pianist Nikolai Demidenko and the wonderful baritone Jonathan Lemalu. Wow!

Only one drawback. All this renewed music appreciation has not been without consequences chez nous. Petitions are apparently being signed in my village urging a ban on me rehearsing Bruce Hornsby numbers so loudly (and badly) on the piano while my 13-year-old son has also caught the bug and just set up his own band. Their inaugural rehearsal was in the village hall and though I don't think they'll be competing with the Ten Tors Orchestra for venues just yet, who knows, down the line...

For now, I know my place. Son's on electric guitar. Mum's on catering. Anyone for rock cakes?>


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