Ellen Widdowson, who joined the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra in 1989 when it was first formed, has been honoured with life membership.
Ellen Widdowson, who joined the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra in 1989 when it was first formed, has been honoured with life membership. Max Fleet BUNBSO

Lifetime of musical work honoured

A LIFETIME of dedication and commitment to the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra was honoured on Sunday in conjunction with the group’s annual gala concert.

Orchestra secretary Merle Beran said long-time member and first violinist Ellen Widdowson was a deserving recipient of the life membership.

“The whole event went so well and the presentation went exactly as we wanted. She had absolutely no idea,” Mrs Beran said.

“Ellen has been involved with the orchestra since its inception in February 1989. For many years she has played first violin and served with the committee for a number of years.

“She has also held our calendar meeting at the end of each year. Ellen throws open her door for us.”

Mrs Beran said Mrs Widdowson received a life membership certificate, a gold bar and a floral arrangement.

“It is considered a great honour as we only have one other lifetime member and that person is the original founder of the Bundaberg Symphony Orchestra, Heather McCabe,” she said.

“Both women have been awarded an Order of Australia Medal.”

Mrs Widdowson said her life revolved around music and the award was a “huge surprise”.

“I’m still up in the air. It was so unexpected, I’m still so excited,” she said.

“I have been with the orchestra since the early stages and play first violin – I was bought up in a musical family.

“Mum played violin and viola and my two aunties were strings teachers, so I didn’t get away with any mistakes.”

Mrs Widdowson said as well as her award, she was simply pleased with how well everyone played at the gala concert.

“It was one of our best and I was absolutely thrilled,” she said.

Mrs Widdowson said orchestra musical director Fred Coleman was “a perfectionist who has really brought the orchestra along”.

“We have some really great players,” she said.



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