SETTLE Orchestra ends its 50th anniversary season with two celebratory concerts on Saturday at the Richard Whiteley Theatre and Saturday, June 24, at Christ Church, Skipton.

The programme will range from the first piece ever played by the orchestra to two new commissions written especially for the anniversary by orchestra alumni.

To open the concert, the orchestra will play the Overture to The Caliph of Bagdad, which opened the very first concert in December 1967.

This piece will be conducted by Howard Rogerson, who was conductor of the orchestra for 15 years from 1992 to 2007, and the remainder of the concert will be under the baton of principal conductor Ola Ness.

The commissions have been composed by young musicians who are former members of Settle Orchestra, Vahan Salorian and Edward Percival.

Vahan is a composition graduate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He currently holds the position of Composer-in-Residence for the Centre for Young Musicians in Norwich.

Edward has been composing since the age of 11. He is currently studying on the joint course at the Royal Northern College of Music.

From the beginning, one of the principles of the orchestra has been to give young instrumentalists the opportunity to experience orchestral playing alongside adults.

To mark this, the programme will also include two movements from Elgar's cello concerto, to be played by Settle Orchestra member, 18-year-old Owain Smith.

Owain is currently a member of the Junior RNCM, as well as co-leader of the Giggleswick School Orchestra.

These will be Owain's final concerts with the orchestra as he will be moving on to Durham University in September to study Earth Sciences.

Other items will include pieces written by Settle Orchestra's longest-serving conductor, Arthur Butterworth, and acclaimed light music composer Ernest Tomlinson, whose daughter Hilary plays flute in the orchestra.

The concert will conclude with Eric Coates' London Suite, which depicts scenes from Covent Garden, Westminster and Kensington.

The Giggleswick concert begins at 7.30pm, and the Skipton concert will start at 2.30pm and be followed by a party to which all audience members are invited.

Tickets costing £12 will be available from Cave and Crag, Bentham Post Office, and Skipton Camera Centre.