SETTLE Orchestra is set to begin its first season under a new scheme which will see a conducting student from the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) conducting the orchestra for a year.

In keeping with the orchestra's long-standing policy of encouraging young musicians, the scheme will provide young conductors with valuable experience of directing a community orchestra.

This season's student is Alexander Webb, who accepted a place to become the Timothy Reynish Conducting Scholar at the RNCM in 2016, after graduating from the percussion programme at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

He currently studies under Mark Heron and Clark Rundell, and has also participated in a masterclass with Sir Mark Elder.

Alex's first concerts with the orchestra are on Saturday, November 18, at Settle Parish Church and Saturday, November 25, at Christ Church, Skipton, both at 7.30pm.

The programme opens with Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture, 'Fingal's Cave', inspired by the composer's trip to the Scottish island of Staffa in 1829.

Upon seeing the sea basalt cave for the first time, Mendelssohn himself reported that he immediately wrote down the opening theme of the overture.

The programme continues with Cello Concerto No. 1 by Saint-Saens. The soloist for this piece will be Thomas McMahon, who graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2014 with distinction.

Thomas has performed recitals in venues across the country and has appeared as soloist with a wide range of orchestras.

To conclude the programme, the orchestra will play Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 'Pastoral', a musical expression of Beethoven's love of nature.

Tickets, priced at £12, will soon be available from Cave and Crag, Bentham Post Office and Skipton Camera Centre, and on the door.