Judith David retires as Colne Orchestra conductor

AFTER 25 years, Mrs Judith David has hosted her final concert as the conductor of Colne Orchestra – and was highly praised for her achievements over all that time.

Colne Orchestra conductor Judith David.
Colne Orchestra conductor Judith David.

Mrs David – whose husband Coun. John David is a cello player with the orchestra – has decided to retire as the conductor but will now be a double bass player with them. They were Mayor and Mayoress of Pendle 20 years ago.

The event at The Muni in Colne on Sunday was “Northern Lights” and it featured music from the North of Europe, including Scottish, Scandinavian and Russian composers. There was traditional music but also more contemporary sounds including “Fiddler on the Roof” and an orchestral versions of songs by Abba.

Mrs David, who first joined an orchestra when she was just 12, was invited to be the conductor of Colne Orchestra 25 years ago and agreed to do that.

At Sunday’s event, chairman Mr David Foulds paid tribute to her. He praised her dedication, hard work and skills. He said: “Judith, on behalf of our orchestra, can I offer you our sincere thanks for your efforts for the past 25 years.”

Mrs David then said: “It’s a huge privilege to conduct lots and lots of classic pieces over the years. It really is a great privilege to do that.” And she thanked the orchestra for giving her the opportunity to do that.

She was then joined by the president of the orchestra, Mr David Mercer. She pointed out that he had his first link with the society in 1939. He has played for around 74 years, although he was serving with the RAF during the Second World War and so couldn’t play with them then. She praised his clarinet playing over his many, many years.

Mr Mercer said: “I am going to thank you again in song!” And he sang: “Thank you very much, thank you very much for all you’ve done for us!”

There was also a welcome to the replacement conductor who will host the next event. He is cello player Mr Peter Young. He was head of music at Nelson and Colne College and has also proved capable of composing music.


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Mrs David said: “I welcome Peter to take over – he has taught a lot of musicians and is a great player!”

The audience gave lots of cheers and thoroughly enjoyed the evening thanks to the orchestra.