2015 – Present: Ruth M Holmes
“It is a great privilege to be the President of Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the longest-established non-professional orchestras in the United Kingdom and, I as I write this I am very conscious of our history. Our origins were pretty humble, but our very existence is a tribute to those who have played within the ranks, stood on the podium to conduct us, been our guests as soloists – and those who have been part of the backroom crew (formally known at various times as the Executive Committee or the current Board of Directors and other officers).
As someone who grew up at a time when music tuition at school included the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and hence the chance to enjoy musical performance (even if at a basic level), I began to play the cello partly because one became available to me but also because playing an orchestral instrument was about being part of a team (as opposed to piano playing). A bit like the Philharmonic, who continued to rehearse throughout the Second World War, playing orchestral music has remained an important part of my life since school days. When I started work in Liverpool, my colleagues said they could see a visible difference in me when I found an orchestra to be part of!
I made a positive choice to join Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and played in my first concert in February 1980. Apart from a short time in Liverpool, I have remained part of it since then, as a player, then a committee member (thanks to former President John Self) and most recently as President. I have worked with 14 of the previous Presidents, and have tried to learn something from all of them as well as contributing some of my own ideas. I am so grateful to have had the chance to make music with so many brilliant musicians, so appreciative of the work of those behind the scenes to keep the show on the road, and so proud to be the President of the Phil.”