The founder, producer and director established the Chamber Ensemble in 1990 because she believed that talented pupils should have the opportunity to enjoy making music together. Recognising that no single school would have the high numbers of teenagers necessary to create a large orchestra, she invited pupils from local schools to perform concertos and to meet like-minded musicians.
The Ensemble consists of talented students from Dunottar and nine more schools: St Bede's School, Croydon High School, Micklefield School, Nonsuch High School, Reigate School, Reigate Grammar School, Reigate Priory School, Royal Alexandra and Albert School, and Whitgift School.
Kevin Kenner, award-winning international concert pianist, said: “This is an orchestra consisting of the very best of the area’s young musical talent, all joining together to present highly demanding programmes on a level that could hardly be achieved by the students of one school alone. This joint effort permits young musicians to encounter and intimately experience masterpieces which would otherwise never even be attempted in a school environment and encourages the members of the ensemble to achieve their very best. It is precisely this sort of musical endeavour that is vital to the promotion of classical music in Surrey today and assures a healthier cultural life for the region in the generation to come.”
Highlights of the 27 years include four European concert tours; accompanying one of the world's leading cellists, Raphael Wallfisch, in a performance of a Vivaldi concerto; and winning many Outstanding Certificates at the Reigate and Redhill Music Festival, including the Chairman’s Cup for the Best Ensemble of the entire evening--multiple times.
Loraine Nagioff said: "I wish to thank all past and present members, staff and parents for everything they have contributed to the Dunottar Chamber Ensemble to make it the orchestra it is today."
Miss Nagioff is handing over the baton to Miss Pettet, Director of Music at Dunottar School.