Gradually our expertise and numbers began to improve. Warwick was able to find music the orchestra was able to play well with the numbers and combinations of instruments that we had at the time. We began to play from the more standard repertoire, and to be part of the growing experience of youngsters who were capable of solo roles.
The first Proms in 1999 marked the start of a still greater expansion, with concerts held in Baycourt and attracting larger audiences. At this time we had the pleasure of working over a three year period with Nicholas Braithwaite, a cousin of Warwick’s, then based in London. This association did wonders for the orchestra. With his encouragement the players responded well to the challenge of more difficult music and the Management team were able to learn much from his experience and wisdom.
The orchestra was also able to play under several other guest conductors and increase our repertoire significantly. During that time members of the Auckland Philharmonia were engaged as tutors, providing a tremendous wealth of experience and expertise. To keep up the momentum meant a great deal of work for a few people, and in 2002 a part time administrator was employed to help with the organisational challenge of running the orchestra.