THE Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra played a breathtaking concert of film music to a sold out Wessex Auditorium.

After a 15-year break, the orchestra’s founding conductor David Pickthall returned to direct the group at the Brentwood School - where he is a teacher - on Satruday night.

The orchestra filled the room with music from Lord of the Rings Star Wars, ET, James Bond, Wallace and Gromit, the Mission and Morricone's evocative Cinema Paradisio, to name but a few.

Mr Pickthall, a former Brentwood School pupil, is no stranger to film music himself having written film scores and conducted for films around Europe and, while his charismatic style and rapport with the audience made for a highly enjoyable evening, his sheer musicality and superb skill as a conductor made for a genuine artistic success.

After 27 years as head of music at the Brentwood School, Mr Pickthall retires this summer to concentrate on his composing and conducting.

Charles Clark, Brentwood Philharmonic's chairman and co-leader said: "The orchestra has been buzzing with excitement for this concert for weeks and the evening did not disappoint.”