History

The Midland Sinfonia (TMS) was founded in 1995 by Nigel Morley, a professional pianist, conductor and resident of Alvechurch. Nigel’s aim was to bring quality live classical music to the community of North Worcestershire, performed by local professional musicians and based at St Laurence Church, Alvechurch.

Under Nigel’s inspiring leadership, The Midland Sinfonia quickly established a reputation for a high standard and wide breadth of music. A regular core of musicians was supplemented by soloists and guest conductors from further afield.

During 2003, The Midland Sinfonia became a registered charity with a volunteer Board of Trustees taking over the administration and day-to-day running of the orchestra. This enabled us to take on more ambitious fundraising to support the orchestra and for items such as a grand piano. The piano was successfully fundraised for in 2005 and continues to provide a much-used resource for TMS, the Church and other community performances.

When Nigel moved back to his home county of Lincolnshire, we were fortunate to secure the services of Richard Laing, a well-respected violinist and conductor, as Music Director and Principal Conductor. Richard was instrumental in establishing a varied and exciting programme of concerts each season and the orchestra built a dedicated following. Richard’s links with orchestras around the region meant we had regular guest appearances from musicians of national renown.

From 2016-20 Nic Fallowfield took on the position of Music Director. Midlands based Nic is an experienced violinist and conductor with a passion for the performance of classical music. Our regular programme continued to be augmented by guest appearances from musicians such the celebrated guitarist Craig Ogden.

From March 2020 the Midland Sinfonia took a break as the impact of Covid made it impossible to put on our usual programme of concerts. Fortunately, we were able to survive this period and in September 2021 Shulah Oliver took over as Artistic Director. Shulah is very much in demand as a violin and viola soloist and ensemble player, playing with orchestras across the UK and Europe.

Shulah has a particular interest in taking music out into the community through education and outreach projects. This has led The Midland Sinfonia to putting on more family focused concerts, school workshops, performances in care homes and day centres as well as our more traditional concerts. We look forward to seeing where this exciting new direction takes The Midland Sinfonia, as we plan for the future.