Status Cymbal

Gill Austin - violin
Dave Williams - violin
Paul Appleyard - viola
Una Birtchnell - cello

Status Cymbal was formed in 1988 as the Scarborough Spa Quartet by the string principals of the New Scarborough Spa Orchestra, which succeeded the renowned Max Jaffa Orchestra for summer seasons at the celebrated Yorkshire resort.  From the outset it commissioned, from some of Britain's finest string arrangers, the beginnings of its unique library of witty and sparkling versions of all kinds of popular music:  from Operetta to the modern Musical and from Bach to Rock, now incorporating Johann Strauss, Gershwin, Bernstein, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Abba, the Carpenters, Led Zeppelin and Queen to name but a few.  Played alongside the traditional classical repertoire, these were enthusiastically received by local audiences and the group soon became an established part of the summer musical scene in the region.  Engagements further afield followed and the current name was adopted in 1992, when the original members left the Scarborough orchestra to concentrate on the development of the quartet.

A typical Status Cymbal concert consists of a formal classical first half, presented traditionally in white‑tie‑and‑tails.  During the interval its members slip into something more comfortable to present music in a lighter mood, including classics in all genres of popular twentieth‑century music.  Our playlist, which is continually being expanded, gives an indication of the range of numbers available.

In addition to its concert work, the ensemble has played in Hotels, Stately Homes, Livery and Banqueting Halls and for all kinds of private functions including weddings, corporate entertainment and conferences.  As well as providing music for events organised by the British Tourist Board and the English Tourist Authority, it has been featured on the BBC Radio 2 Arts Programme and, in 1994, appeared on peak‑time ITV network television in the Central TV programme 'Pot of Gold', hosted by Des O'Connor.

Since 1993 Status Cymbal has entertained regularly on Brittany Ferries, both on its high‑season cross‑channel services and its Xmas and New Year mini‑cruise programme.  In 1996 it was also invited to be a part of the entertainment team on the Holland‑America line ship the MS Noordam, spending two months on board during its summer cruising schedule in Alaskan waters.  A passenger survey rating of 8.6 out of a possible maximum of 9 ensured that further contracts were offered, most recently six weeks on the MS Statendam in the Caribbean.  The quartet has also successfully auditioned for P&O Princess Cruises and spent the first four months of 1998 on the ships Regal and Dawn Princess sailing from Mexico via the Panama Canal to Puerto Rico and other destinations in the West Indies.  Further engagements include recitals at arts festivals in Portsmouth and Somerset, a three month cruise to the Bahamas and Alaska, as well as its regular Brittany Ferries work, this summer on the MV Normandie crossing from Portsmouth to Caen.

Status Cymbal

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