News update

An International LSO Project has come to fruition in memory of NYLSO member and cello player, Dr. Lorna Breen.

Strings Across Oceans

LSOs Together. November 21 2020

Open to players whose ensembles took part in the International Round Table Forum in February at St Agnes’ CCMA, Dublin.

Within a week of registering you will receive a link via email allowing access to the music and tracks to enable you prepare for the event on the 21 November 2020. It will be such fun and a great experience. The tracks have been prepared by freelance musicians and recorded at the St. Agnes’ CCMA Dublin.

Click here to register.

25 years of the Cobweb Orchestra, Newcastle upon Tyne, England


We are working on a video project that we hope will highlight not only the joys of being a part of this specific community, but also some of the broader benefits that groups like these foster on on a global scale.  We want to create something that helps legitimize and value the contributions that late-starter musicians bring to the world. To help inform the video, we want to hear what music, and most importantly, participation in a late-starters group, means to members of the LSO Network. Link to survey:

We would very much appreciate survey takers from near and far!  The survey is brief and should not take more than a few minutes.  It will be open until August 15th, 2020.

THANK YOU for helping!!!-Elena Rahona (NYLSO) and Melanie Reineke (Happy Strings)

LSO Zoom Meeting

LS Late Starter Zoom meeting

An informal meeting of late starter orchestras is being held on ZOOM on Saturday 18th July at 4 pm (London-Dublin time) to which representatives of late starter orchestras anywhere in the world will be most welcome. Please contact to request the link. A further ZOOM meeting is planned for Saturday 19th September. The meeting will be hosted from Dublin by St Agnes’ Parents String Orchestra.

The discussion on Saturday 18th July will be chaired by Elena Rahona of New York Late-Starters String Orchestra (

LSO Zoom meeting on the 23rd of May 2020 06:00 PM Dublin

Thirty one participants from the Late Starter Orchestra (LSO) Forum,  held in  February, met on Zoom Saturday evening May 23rd. It was thrilling to see everyone in the relaxed Zoom setting, facilitated by Seamus Doyle, conductor of the St. Agnes’ Parents’ String Orchestra. An informal chat revealed that  during these strange times many LSOs have managed to link together via Zoom to practice music technique while others haven’t managed it yet and it was acknowledged that, even though it may be difficult to play music through Zoom due to technical issues, meeting up on Zoom and connecting using the technologies is absolutely wonderful.

Eleana Rahona’s news from New York was sad and sobering regarding the tragic death of one of the NY LSO members.   New York is suffering tremendously during this pandemic and it highlights the importance of keeping connected.

Those who joined the meeting included:  Chris Surety, (CoMA), Maggie Hilton and Angie Lord (East London LSO), Sue Watts (Yorkshire LSO), Jane Halnan (Cobwebs), Armorel Allen (Glasgow Senior Citizens Orchestra), Bart Van Goorbergh, (The Netherlands), Terry Clancy (Sounds Ensemble, Dublin), Melanie Reineke and Jana Lehner (Tomatenklang Musikschule, Berlin), Penny Meitz and Mike Mason (Houston, Texas, USA),  Elena Rahona (New York LSO),  Ida Weijgertze and Herme von Hoevelaken  (Het Dag Betuwsorkest, The Netherlands), Allin Grey, IAYO Director, Daniel Kellerhals, President ((Retired) EoFED), Jacqueline Gurney from Belgium and many Irish hosts.

Professor James Cavanagh from the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) joined the meeting and outlined an exciting upcoming project.  He has estimated that there are 350,000 people who play music in the island of Ireland and he asks all to go to their front door on June 21st 6pm,  World Music Day and a celebration of Beethoven’s birth, to play Ode to Joy.)

It is hoped that a similar meeting can be organised every two months into the future.

You can download a detailed report by Joanna Crooks below



A message from Bart and Margreet – March 2020

Dear friends in Ireland and the rest of the world, I hope you are healthy and safe. We are most of the time in quarantaine. Last week I was able to record a beautiful song played by a ‘early starter’. His name is Roelof an we want to share a little video to give you a bit comfort and strength for the upcoming period.Lots of warm greetings, Bart and Margreet    (Bart van den Goorbergh)

and all the credits to Roelof, the young baritontuba player.  You may share this YouTube link to all the participants of the late starter orchestras

I’m so relieved to hear you and the orchestra are well. We are well too. We just held what looks to be our last in-person rehearsal for a while – there are new measures directing that no meetings in groups of more than 10 are to go ahead. Needless to say we agree wholeheartedly that whatever needs to be done to keep the community safe should be done. Thank goodness for the internet to keep sane and in touch with music and each other! And thank you so much for the message in these trying times.

A message from Tish Yeo from the da ka:po Late Starter Orchestra, Singapore

The Digital Concert Hall now free for everyone The Philharmonie is closed – so we will come to you!

To help contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the Philharmonie Berlin will remain closed until 19 April. But the orchestra will continue to play for its audience – in the Digital Concert Hall. So that all friends of the Berliner Philharmoniker can enjoy this offer, we have decided to open the Digital Concert Hall, free of charge: with a 30-day ticket that can be redeemed until 31 March. All you need to do is enter the voucher code BERLINPHIL on the ticket page of the Digital Concert Hall.

Devices and technology The Digital Concert Hall is the online concert venue of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Here, their concerts are broadcast live and are also available as recordings in a video archive a few days later. The Digital Concert Hall is available on televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets and streaming devices. Its partners are Panasonic and Internet Initiative Japan. More at

The Exchange has already begun!

Holly Dowlen, Juan Barrow Garcia and Raul Sanchez welcome Elena Rahona of the New York Late Starters String orchestra to the rehearsal on Tuesday 25th of February 2020 of Orquesta Crescendo in Tres Cantos, Madrid

The Covid-19 Pandemic

An interesting read… Information from a Consultant Respiratory Pediatrician at Cork University Hospital, Ireland.

“I hope you all stay safe during this difficult time. The children will get through this no problem. Pediatric hospitals are empty in Italy at present after 3 weeks of school closure as the usual viruses stopped circulating. Please remember with Covid-19 children are vectors not victims. In most epidemics young children are the transmitters. Therefore for school closure to be effective it is really important that the children are not mixing with other children while out of school. They will give it to each other silently, pass it on to our loved ones. What we do now will contribute to how this develops nationally. Avoid situations that the children will interact. If the community responds to this responsibly, it will shut it down more than anything we do in hospital. From my experiences in the hospital this past week, I would say the corona virus is closer to all of us than we realise and the degrees of separation for all of us is getting narrower.”