York & North Yorkshire

Queen's 'forgotten' birthday waltz to be revived

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Media captionThe waltz was discovered among 6,000 pieces of music

A "forgotten" waltz thought to have been written for the Queen's 18th birthday is among a musical treasure-trove discovered in Scarborough.

The score was found along with more than 6,000 items in the attic and cellars of the town's Grand Spa.

The Spa Orchestra, the last professional seaside orchestra in the UK, has played music there since 1912.

The waltz is now to be played by the full orchestra again in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday in June.

The 1930s dance suite by composer Cecil Armstrong Gibbs was apparently requested at the then Princess Elizabeth's birthday party in 1944.

Paul Laidlaw, musical director of the orchestra, said: "It's very exciting to have the opportunity and time to go through stuff that's been collected over 100 years.

"It's like being a child in a sweetshop".

Image caption Paul Laidlaw is musical director of the Spa Orchestra that was formed in 1912

Scarborough Spa with its Grand Hall, theatre, galleries, and cafes was opened in 1880 after fire destroyed the previous building.

The Spa Orchestra was formed in 1912 when 35 professional musicians gave daily concerts.

Image caption Librarian Stephen Walker is now archiving the entire collection.

The programme included Viennese waltzes, operettas and popular songs.

Librarian Stephen Walker is now archiving the entire collection. Some of the compositions are to be re-arranged for the current orchestra to play before an audience once more.

Mr Walker said the orchestra wanted to keep "live music alive", adding: "There's no substitute for live music".

Image caption The score was discovered among more than 6,000 items in Scarborough

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