SKIPTON’S own orchestra is appealing for people across the district to share their lockdown stories to be made into a series of short films.

Skipton Camerata, orchestra in residence at Skipton Town Hall, and believed to be the only professional orchestra in North Yorkshire, is asking people to describe what they have been doing during lockdown in up to 500 words and submit it by September 7.

The ‘Lockdown Diaries’ project will see six composers each writing a piece for a group of musicians, with an actor speaking the words.

The resulting collection of varied personal lockdown experiences, whether its been helping out at a food bank, or being completely isolated at home, will be recorded and the videos broadcast online in November.

The orchestra’s mainly freelance musicians have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with all performances cancelled.

Ben Crick, Camerata’s artistic director, said: “They’ve had their livelihoods taken away in an instant. Packing a large orchestra and audience into a small space isn’t an option at the moment so we’ve had to find different ways of making music.”

One thing some of the musicians have been doing is busking. Recently, while Ben was recording a small promotional video for the Lockdown Diaries project in the under redevelopment Skipton Town Hall some of the orchestra’s brass players entertained shoppers on the High Street by playing snatches of both Bizet and The Beatles.

The town hall is currently undergoing a £4.5 million redevelopment which will include a restored concert hall, where the orchestra will play in the future.

Ben said: “This will be such a brilliant venue for playing in when it’s finished. I just look forward to the time when I can bring the players back in here again and do what we do - perform great symphonies. In the meantime, my focus is on adapting to the new reality and on exploring how coronavirus has affected everyone’s lives: how people coped, what they experienced.

“Maybe they helped out at a food bank, or kept in touch with a vulnerable neighbour. We’d love to hear from them all so we can tell their story with music.”

Anyone interested in sharing their lockdown experience can find full details on the orchestra’s website Stories of about 500 words need to be submitted by September 7.