While The Music Lasts


    Dedicated to Lady Thompson, President of Milton Keynes City Orchestra.



    Music never ends, it merely rests.

    It clings to your memory, finds harbour in your breast.

    Then, when least expected, rushes you, ambushes you

    with melody and harmonious mystery,

    a soundtrack to your days.

    A musical haze, with the properties of time travel,

    as years unravel, you’re transported back

    to the hall you first heard that tune,

    relive the swoon, the headlong fall

    into music’s bewitching enthral.

    A seduction of sound, at the same time,

    you’re both lost and found.

    You belong to music now, and music to you,

    Carried in your soul from triumph to heartbreak,

    When parted too long, you feel the ache

    That can only be soothed, removed by another shot

    of that powerful drug known as Orchestra.


    As is widely known, ‘You can’t play a symphony alone’.

    Behind the concert’s esteem, other teams play their part

    Pouring soul, heart and reason

    Over four decades of programmed seasons.

    Sorcerers’ apprentices, giving the magic a stage

    From one man with a vision, to the wide array of partners;

    Patrons, sponsors and audience, advertisers and PR

    Anonymous donors (you know who are)

    So, this much is true, this finale is your curtain call too.

    While it may sadden

    We celebrate all those who made music, and those who made music happen.


    So once more we gather, set music centre stage.

    Our players are ready to enthral and engage,

    Our gifted community, the creative unity of

    Many talents becoming one,

    Genius present summoning genius past,

    Proving that while the music lasts,

    All are friends.

    Though concerts must end and the past is gone,

    Always and forever, Music lives on.



    Written by Mark Niel

    Milton Keynes’ Poet Laureate 

    23 June, 2019


    MKCO 1975 – 2019

    It is with deep regret that the Board of MKCO has made a fully considered decision for the orchestra to close at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Over the last six years there has been a pro-active fund raising and creative re-organisation to bring greater quality to performance and education work. However, audiences haven’t grown significantly, the company is not resilient and there isn’t sustainable financial or resource support for professional classical music performance in MK.

    With generous support from current funders MKCO will close without debt.  

    It is devastating to close a cultural organisation with a forty-four year history, but amongst the terrific highs and memorable classical concerts there have been financial and resource concerns over many years.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank our classical music lovers for their loyalty and support over many years, this is a difficult decision and it is truly heartbreaking for those involved who have given so much.