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Alum joins unique emergency services orchestra

Thu 5 March 2020

Armen Boldy reconnects with music through the Blue Light Symphony Orchestra.

The Blue Light Symphony Orchestra (BLSO) is the UK’s only orchestra for all Emergency Services personnel.

Started four years ago for police officers, 120 players are now drawn from a wealth of talent hidden inside the UK’s Police Forces, Fire Brigades and Ambulance Services, as well as the military and other emergency services such as Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue and the RNLI.

One of these players is Trinity Laban alum Armen Boldy.

Armen began studying horn at Trinity Laban (then Trinity College of Music) in 1991 and shortly switched to singing. Following his graduation in 1993 he enjoyed a decade-long career as a professional singer, which included a four-year stint in the touring production of Phantom of the Opera.

Ready for a new challenge, he joined the police service in 2007.

“I like it for the fact that I’m communicating with people, all sorts of people,” he explains.

This sentiment is something that BLSO’s Founder, CEO and Musical Director Detective Constable Seb Valentine shares, “Music is about communication. I use a lot of skills I learned as a musician as a police officer.”

After a 20-year hiatus from horn playing, Armen was inspired to pick up the instrument again by his family, “My brother-in-law plays bass guitar and wanted to form a little band for pantomime. I picked up the horn and thought ‘this was fun’”.

An orchestra for actively serving members of the Emergency Services, the BLSO was the perfect place for Armen to rediscover his playing. He is looking forward to their upcoming concert at St John’s, Smith Square in London on 9 October 2020.

“The Blue Light Symphony Orchestra not only provides the opportunity for us to make music together, it also emits mental wellbeing.”

As a registered charity, the BLSO’s aim is to promote and support music making in the emergency services to aid mental wellbeing and to promote the use of music therapy to treat serious mental health problems such as PTSD, chronic stress and anxiety. The orchestra is working in collaboration with Chroma, the UK’s largest provider of arts therapy.

To find out more visit or follow @bluelightsymph on Twitter.

Image: Armen Boldy (credit John Deehan)