David Boxford

It is no exaggeration to say that without David Boxford, the WYO would almost certainly not exist. From 1994 to 2016 he managed the orchestra, devoting hours and hours of his time every week to ensure that rehearsals, concerts and other public activities all went smoothly.
During those 22 years, youth orchestras all over the country folded, sunk by lack of funds, support and players. The Westmorland went from strength to strength and most of it was down to David.
Under his tutelage, the orchestra branched out from its old Kendal base and now plays two of its three concerts each year in places like Kirkby Lonsdale, Troutbeck, Appleby or Ulverston.
“Feeder” groups were formed, meeting before the rehearsals, to introduce very young musicians to the idea of playing music together and one day joining the orchestra.
“Welcome Music” was brought in, an opportunity for small groups of other musical types to showcase their skills to the arriving audience in the half-hour before our concerts begin.
The orchestra acquired a good stock of instruments. It is now registered as an independent charity, meaning it is shielded from the vagaries of government spending decisions.
And it is on a good financial footing. When David took over its annual budget was £1,800; when he left this had risen to £35,000 from a healthy mix of grants, ticket sales, advertising, sponsorship and above all income from a solid investment fund created by him.
In his years as Deputy Chairman of the Trustees committee – the chairmanship was left vacant – David Boxford did, or oversaw: recruitment, programmes, staff, insurance, legal status, child protection, safety, fund-raising, budgets, annual accounts, investments, sponsorship, instruments, sheet music, archives, refreshments, publicity, transport, newsletters, Friends of the WYO, salaries, contracts, reviews, social media, and much more.