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past Leaders/concertmasters

Ron White was born in Gateshead and lost his mother when he was 2 years old. He then went to live in Suffolk in a Dr Barnados home, as at the time single working fathers received no help for childcare. Ron saw his first violin as a child at a concert in the village hall and was fascinated by it. He was given a tin violin for Christmas.

When a stepmother came on the scene Ron returned to Keighley to be reunited with his father and stepmother. Ron's father paid for his violin lessons at school, and reaching 18 he joined the Royal Horse Guards playing violin and clarinet. Ron was in the Queen's coronation procession in 1953, and played violin in the guards orchestra entertaining at many royal occasions. After leaving the army he was active in all kinds of music playing violin ,clarinet and saxophone, as well as conducting bands and orchestras, entertaining at American Air Force bases, folk clubs and jazz groups.

There are many amusing stories to tell of Ron's musical life, and he was very light-hearted in all his musical activities - a great entertainer!

The violin was Ron's real love, and becoming skilled at restoration he repaired and made several violins.

Ron was an all-round musician. He deputised as a conductor for Brian on the rare occasions when Brian was held up. Ron enjoyed playing music across the whole spectrum from pop to jazz to stage and symphonic classical. Most memorable perhaps was his rendition of "After You've Gone" where he performed in a style reminiscent of Stephane Grapelli. This was perhaps Ron's most iconic violin solos with the FCO.

Sadly Ron passed away in mid 2022.

Lynne rothwell

(2022 - 2023)

Lynne started her musical journey at the age of 5 years learning the piano. Her early orchestral experience was as a member of the Grimsby Youth Orchestra where she played French horn and violin. Opportunities arose to lead both the horn section in a concert band and an orchestra, as well as leading one of the orchestras on the violin.

While studying for a Music degree, at the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, Lynne was a member of the Cambridge University 1st Orchestra having the opportunity to perform at Kings College Cambridge as well as the Albert Hall. In her first year, she was also appointed as principal horn player for the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain for a year, as well as playing a Mozart piano concerto with the college orchestra.

Between 1994 and 1997, Lynne taught class music to 11 years olds up to A level, after achieving her Post-graduate Certificate in Education at Leeds University. From 1998, she moved down to teaching primary school children and wrote a few Christmas productions which were performed in London and Berkshire.

Moving south in 1996, Lynne joined the Henley Symphony Orchestra where she played 1st violin, as well as leading the 2nds for some concerts. She continued to develop her accompanying skills, having the opportunity to accompany more advanced students on a range of instruments. Over the years she has played both violin and piano in a number of chamber ensembles. She continues to tutor piano, having taken a number of pupils up to Grade 8 ABRSM.

Peter Farnbank

(2014 - 2022)

Peter is now the FCO's Musical Director. Click here for information.


Leader/Concertmaster 2004 - 2014