THE founder of a holiday orchestra for young people in York has died after a short illness.

Lizzy Edmondson founded Yorchestra in 1992 in response to what she saw as a lack of good extra-curricular music provision in the York area, said its chairman of trustees, Graham Long.

Over the following 23 years, the organisation - a registered charity run by a volunteer committee and supported by voluntary help from players’ parents- has helped and encouraged thousands of local students to gain orchestral experience and benefit from the tuition of expert musicians.

Mr Long, of Poppleton, said Lizzy, who also wrote under the pen-name Elizabeth Aston, was always very modest about her role in setting up the orchestra but there was no doubt that without her vision and drive, it would not have developed and thrived.

"Its success has been built on the voluntary help of parents who organise and administer the non-residential courses that are held at the Music Department of York University in each main school holiday," he said.

"Lizzy’s two children, Anselm and Eloise, who both attended the Minster School in York, were founder members of the orchestra and were key players before the family moved away to Somerset.

"Many Yorchestra players have gone on to successful musical careers and all its alumni have enjoyed this unique provision where lifelong friendships have been forged."

He said Lizzy, who died in Oxford, had attended the 20th anniversary concert held in the University’s Central Hall and was warmly greeted at this event as the instigator of a great and flourishing musical organisation.

"Lizzy will be greatly missed, but will continue to be held in great affection by all connected to Yorchestra.

He added that her husband of 30 years, translator and art historian Paul Aston, died in 2011.