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‘An amateur orchestra in St Albans that performs regular concerts of major works, and offers a more relaxed musical experience at a much lower cost than larger orchestras in the area. We have a policy of welcoming all ages and a wide range of abilities from St Albans and beyond. This leads to a varied mix of musicians which produces fresh and stimulating results. Abbey Gateway Orchestra is different to most amateur orchestras in that we don’t just perform full concerts every term, we also mix up workshops and community events, developing a large repertoire of pieces which we perform more than once over the course of the year.’

‘We are an amateur symphony orchestra based in Abbots Langley with players drawn from the village and surrounding area. We normally give three concerts each year ... We don't believe there are many villages that have their own symphony orchestra full of committed and talented players, under a professional conductor. Abbots Langley does!‘

 

Abergavenny Orchestral Society is one of the oldest amateur orchestras in the UK and we now perform under the title Abergavenny Symphony Orchestra. We are a community orchestra with members of all ages who come from a 40 mile radius. We play interesting programmes and enjoy our rehearsals which are focussed towards performing our 3 concerts per year as musically as possible.‘

 

Also indexedAbergavenny Orchestral Society

‘A fun, friendly, community orchestra, playing light classics and popular film music. We are always looking for new members - no auditions - all ages and abilities welcome.’ Based in Mossley, Greater Manchester.

Adoramus Choir and Orchestra a history of providing creative, entertaining programmes using music from a wide spectrum of genres, guaranteed to appeal to a broad variety of tastes. Many of our concerts include visual material to accompany the music, bringing an extra dimension to well-loved classics as well as to more contemporary material. Concerts are often compèred in an informative, humorous and thought provoking way that helps engage the audience in the whole evening ... As a Christian organisation, we aspire to be a “musical missional community”, supporting and encouraging one another and striving for musical excellence.‘

 

‘A friendly, welcoming orchestra in North London ... Our standard is particularly suitable for intermediate players (grade 6 and above). No audition required - if you like us, we'll like you! Just turn up to any rehearsal and see how you get on, and/or come and meet up in the pub afterwards.’

 

Also indexedMornington Sinfonia

‘A friendly new community orchestra set up to provide orchestral playing opportunities for amateur musicians in York and the surrounding area. We play a varied selection of music from across the orchestral repertoire, some easy bits and some of that really meaty stuff you've always wanted to have a go at.’

 

‘A flourishing community orchestra based in Alton, Hampshire ... and comprises of competent amateur musicians of all ages ... We have a policy of welcoming anyone without the requirement of an audition and we maintain no restrictions on section size within the orchestra. However at the discretion of the Musical Director, we may occasionally have to operate a waiting list for certain oversubscribed instruments ... The orchestra plays three concerts a year.’

‘Play all your favourite music in the Alveley Village Band. Our members go away happy and refreshed after playing the best arrangements possible for brass, woodwind, strings and percussion. We are unique - our band offers parts for all instruments so all musicians can participate. We guarantee you'll love being part of the band. Local children give the band a thumbs-up too! Come and join us!’

 

‘We are a small Concert Orchestra, based in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. We started out in 2005 and have enjoyed playing a number of concerts in the local area, including the hugely successful Ampthill Proms in the Park ... One of the huge advantages of Ampthill Concert Orchestra, is that we are a group of local musicians, coming together on weekends to make music for our local community. We're not trying to make a profit. We just want to play good music and share it with the community. We love our music, and we hope you will too! We've performed numerous concerts now and are starting to build up a regular audience.’

 

'A London amateur orchestra with a professional leader, principal violist and principal cellist who meet once a week to rehearse ... Our repertoire includes a broad range of classical works from Bach and Beethoven, later Romantic and more modern pieces – sometimes written or arranged for us by our own conductor and players. We are always on the lookout for new players who would like to join, in particular brass and string players.'

 

Founded 2005: ’Brings together amateur and professional players from East Devon, West Dorset and South Somerset, giving three concerts a year ... The Axe Vale Orchestra is a full Chamber Orchestra consisting of Strings, full Woodwind and Brass Sections who meet to perform and explore full classical and modern repertoires ... We are always happy to welcome new members and Friends of the Orchestra’.

 

‘We're a group of local people who enjoy music and who wanted to be part of an orchestra. Some of us are a little rusty from practice, some haven't been playing for very long and others are, well, pretty good! The point is to just join in, to try, and to make music, regardless of your musical expertise ... We choose music which covers the broadest possible spectrum to make sure that there's something to everyone's taste and musical ability. We've performed everything from Beethoven to The Beatles.’

 

'Founded  in 1952. Today we have around 25 members, a happy mix of amateur and professional musicians. We play a wide variety of orchestral music to suit all tastes. We enjoy making music ... We are always happy to welcome new members. No audition is necessary but we do ask for commitment to practise and your regular attendance at rehearsals and concerts. Please bring your music stand and arrive in good time for a prompt start.'

 

‘The Midland's LGBT orchestra. BGSO promotes musical talent directly from within the LGBT community, illuminating the diversity that exists within it to the wider community and beyond. As an LGBT orchestra we provide a safe “non-scene” environment centred around a shared interest where people can come together to express who they are without any additional pressure or expectations. We welcome all musicians whether they identify as LGBT or not.’

 

'Bishop's Castle Orchestra is a true community orchestra. We are a group of keen musicians of various ages, standards and skills. We are a friendly and supportive group eager to provide music wherever it is needed in Bishop's Castle and the surrounding areas ... We welcome new players but do have to strike a balance in order not to have too many instruments in any one section. We expect a proficiency of Associated Board Grade 5 plus although we can make exceptions for those who have decided to take up instruments after a lapse and wish to re-kindle old skills.'

 

'Boobs & Brass was formed in May 2006 & is based in Northamptonshire, England ... All the people involved with “Boobs & Brass” love music and brass bands. Undoubtedly, the greatest single contribution that each player, conductor, soloist, arranger and supporter makes is that they do it all at their own personal expense, driven by one common aim – to raise money for researching a cure for breast cancer ...'

 

'Formed originally in 1951 for Boots employees, for many years now we have extended a warm welcome to local amateur musicians. Previous orchestral experience is necessary, as is the ability to sight-read. Supported by Boots UK, we give three concerts a year for charity in a variety of locations in the Nottingham area – usually in March, June and November – so that everyone has the chance to come and enjoy, with all proceeds going to the venue’s chosen charity.'

 

The Community Band began in 2008: 'We have gone from strength to strength and we now number over 120 adults in 3 bands. We are keen amateur musicians aspiring to a high standard, but mainly do it for fun and to entertain others. We are led by experienced, professional teachers and musicians from Berkshire Maestros ... We have started a number of other projects, including an introductory wind band (Beaufort Band) and wind ensembles'.

 

Also indexedBeaufort Band

‘Formed for the BBC Music Live event in 2000. We are a large amateur orchestra drawing players, mainly from the Bristol area. We meet every Monday evening and hold many concerts throughout the year in the Avon, Somerset, South Gloucestershire area, including annually at Iron Acton’s fabulous Prom in the Meadow.’

 

‘We play for the pleasure of working on and getting to know the orchestral repertoire.  From September to March, we meet monthly, usually on the third Sunday, to focus on a couple of works (usually one symphony and one overture) for two successive sessions before moving on to explore new works for the next two rehearsals and so on. Between April and June, we meet more regularly (up to five times)  preparing for our annual concert – which is given free to family and friends, followed by a American supper style buffet. We don't take ourselves too seriously but we do work hard at playing the music to as high a standard as possible.’

 

‘Re-inventing the orchestra for the 21st century ... Our mission is to redefine what an orchestra can be. We see it as an extraordinary and perfectly synchronised body of instruments that draws on the tradition of centuries but is enriched and expanded by the talents, the instruments and the zeitgeist of the 21st century.  At our core is The British Paraorchestra, the world’s only large-scale ensemble for professional disabled musicians. This boundary-breaking group sets a new template for music-making, either on its own or in collaboration with its two partner ensembles ... the Army of Generals - an electrifying ensemble of non-disabled orchestral musicians that has built an enthusiastic following and is famed for its dynamic energy-fuelled performances ... and, Charles Hazlewood’s All Star Collective; an electronica band comprising some of the big names of pop and rock world.’

 

'Formed in the 1930s under the name “Blofield & District Silver Band”, the band has undergone several changes, moving to Strumpshaw, Freethorpe and then Cantley ... In September 2015 we made the exciting decision to become a concert/wind band and invite woodwind players to join for the first time. This has allowed for a range of new music, a larger band for concerts and engagements, and provides a progression route for those in the Training Band.'

Formed 2017: 'Very much a "players orchestra" - cooperative and friendly. No egos here! ... We have an extensive library of orchestral music (symphonies, concertos, overtures etc from Baroque to Modern) and members of the orchestra are encouraged to suggest works they would like to play. Each term we chose up to half a dozen pieces to play and then prepare a selection of these for an informal "end of term" concert for family and friends'.

 

‘If you want to lose yourself in wonderful classical works, many romantic, many famous, some you’ll have never heard before, you should pay a visit to our concerts this year. Whether you’ve taken a shine to Shostakovich or delight in Debussy, we’re here to offer you the best in Bristol’s amateur orchestral performances. Our programmes are always made up of: * One work picked from the Classic FM top 100; * One work chosen by our expert conductor; * One work chosen by our players.’

 

‘We are your local orchestra so please help us to play the music you enjoy the most by sharing your feedback and thoughts with us ... We would especially like to hear any suggestions for favorite pieces, or contact from potential new members.’

 

’Amateur Orchestra who rehearse in Witney ... and perform 3 concerts a year in Burford and West Oxfordshire. Founded in 1954 ... We welcome all players, particularly strings and low brass, and there is no audition! We play a variety of popular classics from predominantly the Romantic period.’

 

‘We are a full symphony orchestra of 60 players, playing an exciting mix of music from the classic Haydn symphony to fiery rhythms from South America, and everything in between! ... We would like new players to join us, especially players of the viola, double bass and bassoon. There is a waiting list for some other instruments. Our minimum playing standard is around Grade 5. If you are interested in joining the orchestra, or would like to play with us as a soloist, please email us.’

 

‘Founded in 1974 by Nancy Jacks as the Uckfield Youth Orchestra, it started with five members, soon increased to twenty, and was later joined by adults, and it established a series of charity concerts. In 1995 it took its present name ... We welcome all ages, and especially brass players! ... We perform in Buxted Park, Uckfield and in Seaford, giving concerts three or four times a year.’

 

‘A friendly amateur orchestra based in Cambridge, England. We mainly play works drawn from the classical repertoire and give a concert at the end of each school term, usually on a Thursday or Saturday. The orchestra exists to promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of music in all its aspects by the presentation of public concerts and recitals. Keen amateur players of any age are welcomed as new members without audition, subject to a reasonable balance between sections.’

 

'A friendly and dynamic amateur orchestra that tackles diverse and exciting repertoire and performs three concerts a year ... We attract a diverse set of players of various ages and walks of life. Whilst we have several music college graduates in our midst, others among us simply missed playing in an orchestra from our school or university days. However, we all have one thing in common: a passion for music making ... We don’t do anything as stressful or finite as auditions but prefer for you to come along to a few rehearsals to see what it is like. If you are grade 7+ standard you should fit right in.'

 

‘An amateur orchestra ... with over 40 active members who are drawn from a twenty mile radius of our base in Warmley, Bristol. We rehearse weekly ... and aim to perform approximately six concerts a year in and around Bristol for various charities ... Cameo Orchestra play a very wide repertoire ranging from classics to popular movie themes and “songs from the shows”. The Orchestra would welcome interest from potential new members.’

 

‘Constituted in February 2004 to promote education in and the appreciation of music through the preparation and presentation of public orchestral concerts ... The orchestra currently comprises over 50 members of diverse ability whose main motivation is the enjoyment of making music together of good quality and at a level of performance that stretches their abilities. The repertoire of the orchestra is varied and comprises movements of orchestral works by composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Handel and Schubert together with a number of shorter programmatic pieces and some original compositions by members or friends of the orchestra ... Where possible the Society responds positively to requests for concerts in support of charitable concerns.’

 

Cerddorfa Dinas Powys Orchestra is a community orchestra which provides a place for local musicians to use their talents in an orchestral setting ... We will always welcome new players, to help us develop our orchestral capabilities and repertoire. If you play, or used to play and would like to take it up again, please consider joining us.’

'We are a friendly amateur orchestra who meet once a week during school term times from September until the end of May ... Anyone who feels they can make a contribution is welcome - we have no auditions.'

 

‘The Chineke! Foundation was established in 2015 to provide career opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe. Chineke!’s motto is: “Championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music”. The organisation aims to be a catalyst for change, realising existing diversity targets within the industry by increasing the representation of BME musicians in British and European orchestras. The Foundation’s flagship ensemble, the Chineke! Orchestra, comprises exceptional musicians from across the continent brought together multiple times per year.’

 

Also indexedChineke! Junior Orchestra

‘We are a locally based orchestra, welcoming all ages over grade 6 (including those who haven’t played for some time) ... We choose enjoyable and accessible music to play – changing our selection of pieces regularly to keep it interesting for everyone involved ... Our only sources of funding are membership fees, ticket sales and donations. In order to run the orchestra, we have regular expenses – the hire of a rehearsal venue, hire of music and other costs. If you would like to support what we do in the community, please consider making a donation.’

 

'An enthusiastic amateur orchestra with members of all ages. We strive to provide a balance between fun and informality whilst also embracing the desire to improve each individuals’ skills and talents and to be able to perform as a coherent and confident orchestra that all are proud to be a part of.'

 

Also indexedNewport Orchestra

‘A friendly adult amateur orchestra based in Leicester ... We aim to give musicians the opportunity to play and perform classical & more contemporary popular pieces in a friendly and sociable environment. Whilst we strive to always improve our playing and individual skills we also believe that playing music should be fun with more emphasis on the rehearsals than public performances. We welcome new players from the more experienced, those that maybe wish to revive old skills and those who have begun to play more recently but not beginners. There are no formal auditions. All that we ask is that you can cope with the music, feel reasonably comfortable sight reading and are able to regularly attend rehearsals.’

'A multi-award winning open-access community orchestra based in the North of England. We welcome players of all standards to our weekly meetings at eight venues between the Scottish Borders and North Yorkshire, and to our programme of study days, residential courses and concerts throughout the region and as far afield as Italy and Hungary. We are a friendly and welcoming group that exists so that people can enjoy playing music together. It is open to anyone who wants to come along and join in, whether they have just started learning an instrument, have been playing for years, or haven't played for years ... The Cobweb Orchestra as well as off-shoot groups such as The Baroque Ensemble, The Cobweb Cabaret Ensemble and The Cobweb Chamber Orchestra often give an eclectic variety of performances at various venues throughout the North of England. These concerts are nearly always free although we do invite you to make a donation to The Cobweb Orchestra.'

 

Founded 1928: ‘An amateur orchestra in Edinburgh that plays a variety of music ranging from baroque to 21st century ... The orchestra has a membership of around 50 of all ages ... Joining does not involve an audition ... We perform two concerts per year, normally in December and May’.

 

‘Formed as the Conwy Ensemble in 2010 by the then Mayor ... In 2017, the name was changed to Conwy Town Orchestra ... a vibrant, engaging and dynamic orchestra based in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Conwy in North Wales. Throughout the year we play and perform classical music in an enjoyable and sociable setting. Whilst we aim to achieve a high standard of performance, we truly believe that, as an amateur orchestra, enjoyment is the most important part of any music making experience. This means that our members truly look forward to Thursday evenings from both a musical and social perspective.’

 

'Based in Padworth, Berkshire, between Reading and Newbury, we offer a progressive introduction to orchestral playing. Orchestras which welcome adult beginners are unusual: most require a minimum standard to join, so if you have a dusty, neglected flute, cello or sax in your attic, this may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! We cater for all standards of players in a friendly and welcoming environment, even if you have no experience of playing in a group.'

 

'Community orchestra featuring local amateur musicians. We perform two regular concerts per year and occasionally participate in other events.'

 

‘We are an amateur orchestra based in Dartmouth, with around 25 players drawn from across the South Hams and beyond. The orchestra was originally set up by a group of friends who were looking for an opportunity to play locally. Since then, it has grown but still keeps its friendly, sociable ethos. We currently perform three or four concerts a year, including one in the annual Dart Music Festival, each May.’

 

Formed 1980: ‘An amateur orchestra whose members form an eclectic mix of ages and backgrounds as well as playing abilities ... We usually perform three concerts per year, normally to raise money for charity or local good cause ... We welcome enquiries from prospective members’.

'The Deeside Orchestra started about 30 years ago and has gone from strength to strength ... New players are always welcome to come and join us.'

 

‘Established in 1988 with support from Sir Harry Djanogly ... In 1992, a sister organisation - the Djanogly Community Choir - was also created and performed a few concerts with the orchestra, but sadly folded a few years later ... A friendly amateur orchestra based in Nottingham ... Usually perform three concerts per year. Our music is varied – including symphonies, shorter pieces for orchestra, children’s concerts, works in conjunction with a local choir, and concertos (frequently using local young musicians – which we particularly enjoy and  provides inspiration to us all) ... As a large amateur orchestra we often need additional players – either because a current member leaves or is away for a specific concert, or where additional players or “unusual” instruments (e.g. Bass Clarinet, Harp, extra percussion, etc) are needed for a piece. To join you need to be a competent player at least at grade 5 or equivalent.‘

 

‘An amateur classical orchestra drawing on the talents of musicians throughout Dorset. We play for the pleasure of making music as a group, advancing our abilities and encouraging newcomers. Our repertoire covers popular classical music, film music and music from the shows. We ... entertain audiences with our concerts held at the end of each term.’

 

Founded 2016: ‘The orchestra is formed of friendly and talented local musicians from Lowestoft, Waveney and surrounding areas. The orchestra aims to provide live music to the local area by giving three or more concerts a year. We also aim to encourage any musicians in the surrounding communities that have not yet had the opportunity or experience to play or perform in such an orchestra, or . . . maybe they used to play and miss it’.

 

'Has been making music since 1974. The Band serves all ages and abilities: our youngest members are 4-5 years old; there's no upper age limit! We run a range of musical activities every Friday night at the Shadwell centre, from smaller ensembles in a range of styles, low cost lessons, and our "main band" where most players join in ... For lessons and most of the band we are a wind music ensemble. We do have a very small number of string players in our early music group ... All wind instruments at any level are welcome!'

 

‘The Eastbourne Concert Orchestra is the playing arm of the Eastbourne Orchestral Society. The orchestra has been going for over 60 years, usually performing three concerts a year. We are a community orchestra and meet on a Tuesday evening during term time. The Orchestral Society is always looking for new members; musicians, concert helpers and patrons. In terms of vacancies within the orchestra we are particularly looking for strings and brass players. We play a variety of music, such as classical, light or show music so normally advise that players should be of a grade 5 standard.’

 

Also indexedEastbourne Orchestral Society

‘An established group of amateur musicians of all ages and abilities. We meet throughout the year for rehearsals and performances, aiming to increase our knowledge and enjoyment of orchestral music in a friendly atmosphere. New players are very welcome – we encourage all ages and abilities, and have a friendly atmosphere. We aim for high standards, but have no auditions.’

 

'Founded in November 1999 by a group led by ADeC (Arts Development in East Cambridgeshire), with the aim of becoming a beacon of excellence as East Cambridgeshire’s own community orchestra. Since then it has become one of the region’s best respected orchestras. Today, Ely Sinfonia is made up of players of all ages and from a wide range of backgrounds, including school and college students, business professionals, retired people and local music teachers. Its repertoire ranges from mainstream works to the contemporary, including special commissions.'

 

'We wanted somewhere for local musicians to come and enjoy playing together, without the pressure and minimum standard often required by other amateur classical ensembles ... The main thing to say is that we are not high brow, we are inclusive and it's okay to make mistakes ... that's the way we learn. New players sometimes find themselves sitting with a novice on one side and a seasoned professional musician on the other. Everyone is friendly and encouraging and that's the way we like it.' Formerly the London People’s Orchestra.

 

Also indexedLondon People’s Orchestra

‘The Essex Concert Orchestra performs popular programmes three or four times a year. Works included in the programmes are typically preceded by a short verbal analysis presented by the conductor, during which sections of the Orchestra may play selected excerpts before the performance in full. This has become the Orchestra’s popular characteristic style of performance. The Orchestra is a “not for profits” organisation and, as such, occasionally makes donations to charities ... It is also seen as a high calibre semi-professional orchestral body ... made up of top musicians from the Essex area. These individuals include professional performers, students at prominent London and Essex music colleges, and local music teachers.’

 

Formed 2007: ‘The Fabulous 4 Villages Orchestra - 4VO - is an exciting orchestra drawn primarily from musicians living in and around the four villages of Duxford, Whittlesford, Hinxton and Ickleton ... It's geared towards people who are at least grade 4 standard or who have been playing for at least four years. 4VO usually performs two concerts each year, in May and November ... The music is light, mainly themes from films and shows with the occasional popular classic thrown in’.

 

Also indexed4VO

‘A friendly orchestra whose members play for fun, and which currently presents a winter and summer concert, performing in local venues ... Fen Edge Orchestra has its home in Cottenham, a village just to the north of Cambridge ... We don’t hold auditions and we are strictly non-competitive ... If you are looking to become a member of a relaxed and friendly group of amateur musicians, we could be the perfect orchestra to join, even if you haven’t played in years, or if you are learning a new instrument ... We have a waiting list for most instruments, but this list is purely chronological.‘

 

‘Founded in the 1980s with the intention to assemble a group of local musicians to make music and have some fun at the same time without the full time commitment required of some of the more professional orchestras! The ethos was to enjoy making music whilst striving for improvement ...  Our repertoire ranges from arrangements of the classics to light music, and includes some pieces specially written or arranged for us ... We do try to ensure that the music is appropriate for the resources and standard of players in our group.  But to keep us on our toes, some slightly challenging works are tackled alongside more straightforward arrangements at any one time.’

 

'We're a massively exciting orchestra bringing you iconic music that makes the hairs on your neck stand on end! ...  Now with the annual Fulltone Music Festival well established, their events in Wiltshire and beyond are something quite spectacular!'

 

‘We're an amateur orchestra who play in St Annes. We practise on Wednesday evenings and perform 3 or 4 times a year. Our members come from all across Lancashire: Lytham St Annes, Blackpool, Preston ...’

 

'Are you retired, or close to retirement, and want to play in an orchestra in Glasgow? We are a friendly and relaxed group -- and there are no auditions! The Orchestra consists of about 50 players at all levels, from retired professionals to late starters, with enthusiastic amateurs playing alongside those who learned to play in their youth, only to get reacquainted with their instruments after years raising a family and working towards retirement ... Our concerts (about 10 per year) are for older people at various luncheon clubs around Glasgow. The concerts last about 50 minutes, and are normally held in the early afternoon, about once a month ... Each year our Annual Concert is held in the magnificent surroundings of Glasgow City Chambers and rounds off our season for the year ... Our repertoire is mainly light-classical, and includes music from the shows and films, especially of the 50’s and 60’s, familiar classics, musical theatre, and arrangements of popular songs.'

 

'We are a group of local musicians who have been coming together to share music making since January 2000. The Band is made up of a diverse group of people of all ages and musical experiences. We play a wide range of music from jazz, classical, contemporary, to music from shows and films. Suggestions for new music are always welcome – you can even sponsor pieces if you wish.'

 

'We study, rehearse and perform all kinds of orchestral music in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Our conductor is an experienced performer and ensemble coach. We give occasional concerts, for which admission is normally free. At these events we support a nominated charity by inviting our listeners to make a donation. A guest speaker gives a brief talk to raise awareness of the charity’s activities. Membership is open to all ages, and there are no auditions, though a standard of at least Grade 5 ABRSM is recommended. (Numbers may be limited in some sections in order to maintain a good orchestral balance.)’

 

‘Founded in 1986, is a flourishing amateur group of about 40 regular players serving Halesowen and the west of Birmingham ... We promote three concerts a year, performing a wide and varied repertoire ... The orchestra is open to players of a reasonable standard, regardless of age or previous orchestral experience. If you are enthusiastic about music, you will find that a very warm welcome awaits you. There is no formal audition, although players will need to cope adequately with the parts they are asked to practise and perform. As a general indication, given the type of music we tend to play, this means that players should ideally be at least Grade VI standard or equivalent, although this is not a strict minimum requirement.’

 

'Group of local professional and talented amateur musicians that pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming orchestra .... We perform music that is popular and easy to listen to, often playing many shorter pieces. We include old classics, popular works, film music, opera highlights and new melodic works by living composers; our concerts are therefore ideal for people new to classical music as well as serious music lovers.'

 

‘A community orchestra serving the London Borough of Havering and surrounding areas. We exist to provide opportunities for local instrumentalists to practise and develop their musical skills, and to provide entertainment for members of the public. We have adult members of all ages, and endeavour to make our rehearsals and concerts approachable and friendly occasions. The orchestra works with local soloists wherever possible, and has a particular commitment to offering local young musicians solo performance opportunities. We have worked with several past winners of the Havering Young Musician of the Year award.’

 

‘An established amateur orchestra which plays a range of classical music from early to modern music ... Membership is open to anyone who plays at Grade V level or above - there is a waiting list for some sections of the orchestra. The orchestra meet once a week at the Victoria Halls in Helensburgh from August to Easter. Funding is from members' subscriptions, donations and grants from Making Music and various charitable trusts. Gift Aid is increasingly a major part of funding. Concerts are performed twice a year (December and March) in the Victoria Halls, Helensburgh and occasionally elsewhere ... We encourage young and/or local soloists to perform concertos with us; including past and present members of the orchestra and students at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and also perform with professional soloists.’

 

‘The Hitchin Light Orchestra is a unique institution and is difficult to describe in words ... Imagine a concert orchestra – violins, cellos, trumpets, trombones, flutes, clarinets, percussion and so on. Then add a bunch of saxophone players and a jazz rock rhythm section and a group of about twenty singers, around seventy people in all. This gives you the size of it, but the next thing you would notice at a gig is that there are all different age groups. You have 10 year olds playing next to 70 year olds, students and teachers playing from the same part! ... Anyone can join - come along, bring your instrument and if you like it - you're in!’

 

‘Formed early in 2016 with the aim of bringing musicians in the centre of London together in a new, friendly and motivated local orchestra. Whilst our aim is to make music of a high standard, our rehearsals are very relaxed with very little pressure! We believe arts in general, and music in particular, make people's lives happier and more fulfilling. Our mission is ​to help make music more accessible, to players of all levels and backgrounds, but also to a diversity of audiences. Our moto is to keep rehearsal and concert fees low, to attract a wide range of people to engage with us and music.‘

 

'The Orchestra was founded in 1988 by Stanley Evans and others, initially to provide opportunities for retired people to make music together. Stanley remained our conductor until his death in 2011. Starting with a handful of players of a very curious mix of instruments, the orchestra rapidly built up both its membership and its library of music. It now has between 40 and 50 members and a library of over 400 pieces ... As we meet mainly for pleasure, the orchestra gives very few concerts. We present a concert at the Clarke Foley Centre at Christmas and are occasionally asked to provide music for other events at the centre.'

 

'The Inspiration Orchestra is a project aimed at enabling disabled people to play beautiful music. Our work revolves around weekly individual music lessons, weekly orchestra practices and monthly public concerts. Any person living with disabilities may apply to join us. All lessons are free of charge.'

 

‘A community orchestra made up mainly of amateur musicians from across Aberdeenshire who enjoy making music together ... The orchestra welcomes new members ... No pressure! No auditions! So, if you play or have played before and are looking for somewhere to take this up again for fun then the Inverurie Orchestra is right for you! ... We perform 3 times a year. Easter, Summer and Winter with a variety of music for everyone to enjoy learning and performing.’

‘An amateur orchestra based near Chester, was founded in 2001 to enable musicians of all ages and abilities to participate in a performing amateur orchestra. The atmosphere is friendly, informal and geared towards encouraging the best performances from its members and aiding their musical development. An annual concert is held in July and a Christmas concert in December. The orchestra occasionally performs away from its base in Great Barrow Chester and are free to give concerts for charity. We are a not for profit Community Based Orchestra.’

'KJO, the "King John Orchestra", is a symphony orchestra which was originally set up by parents and friends of schools in the Cambridge area. Our membership has spread more widely but our theme is still to offer enjoyment and improvement for those returning to orchestral playing.'

 

‘Founded as Kingston U3A orchestra ... in 2010 to encourage amateur musicians to enjoy playing in retirement. It became a fully independent organisation in 2014 and adopted a new name, Kingston Third Age Orchestra. The new name reflects the age group of the majority of our players, but we are keen to recruit younger players who are free during the day and able to attend Wednesday morning rehearsals ... The orchestra has about 40 members, mostly in the Grade 6 - 8 range.’

Mission 'We aim to provide opportunities for amateur musicians to come together to play a wide variety of orchestral music and gain musicianship through tutor-evenings throughout the year.'

‘An amateur symphony orchestra based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, with a membership of about 60 players ... We give three major concerts a year ... The culture is to aim to achieve the highest possible musical standards, within the capability of the members, whilst having fun playing together and giving performances for the benefit of the local community. The orchestra is also well-known for its sociability and takes a pride in including everyone in evenings out, parties, fund-raising activities and cycling weekends, to name but a few.’

 

‘Has long been one of the most popular amateur orchestras in North East Scotland. We pride ourselves on our friendliness and welcome players of all instruments, at all standards. In a typical year we give three concerts, all supporting charities. Recent concerts have included works as diverse as the symphonies and overtures of the great classical masters to the sound tracks from popular films and arrangements of comic operas or popular dance music. We are aware that many people learn on a borrowed instrument, but are unable to carry on playing after they leave school. We have a number of loan instruments, so contact us; we may be able to help out.’

 

'We cater mostly for adult players but welcome younger ones, including those with little or no orchestral experience. The music we play is from the standard classical repertoire ... There are no specific entry standards or auditions, however you will probably need to have played for a couple of years, be playing reasonably in tune and be able to practise at home. At the end of each term we play through the rehearsed programme in front of families and guests. This is followed by a supper to round off the evening. We make no charge for attending the concert.'

 

 

‘We emphasise the fun and enjoyment of making music and so do not require minimum grade levels or auditions for new members. As a consequence we welcome new players of all ages and abilities who would like to join us to make music ... At the moment we have nearly 50 regular members and our rehearsal hall is almost full when we all attend. We try to maintain a good balance of sound across the orchestra and so we are currently operating a waiting list for most sections. If, however, you are interested in joining us then please do contact us, whatever instrument you play, as it may only be a short time before we have a space.’

 

'Formed in the 1980’s, the London Gala Orchestra has built up an enviable reputation for quality performances, across numerous musical genres. The orchestra provides music for indoor and outdoor concerts across the U.K., for ballet, opera and choir accompaniment, special events and recording as well as developing and promoting new formats for popular music.'

 

‘The orchestra welcomes players of all interests and backgrounds, provided they meet a minimum playing standard. In the larger string sections, where we already have some strong players, we are happy to accept most players, so anyone of Grade 5 standard (or with playing experience) is welcome. We do not hold formal auditions for string instruments and therefore we encourage you to just come along and play with us for an evening. For solo sections, for example woodwind and brass, we require good players perhaps of grade 7 or 8. Vacancies for wind players arise from time to time but it is best to check with us first ... We give concerts twice a year, in January and June.‘

Founded 1970: ‘An enthusiastic amateur orchestra consisting of around fifty players. It draws its members from Ludlow in South Shropshire and surrounding area ... The orchestra performs up to three concerts each year locally.’

 

‘Our aim is to allow local amateur musicians aged 18 or over of all standards, the experience of making music in an orchestral setting within a friendly and relaxed environment.’

 

‘We are an amateur orchestra based in Market Harborough. We perform several times a year, playing a broad range of classical music ...The Orchestra is always keen to hear from musicians interested in playing with us ... Hope to see you soon!‘

‘Formed in 1992 by a group of enthusiastic players in the orchestra pit at Melton Operatic shows, and their desire to continue playing between performances ... We are a small group of both experienced and not so experienced players, currently comprising about eleven string and fourteen wind and brass players ... We are becoming more popular and are being asked to perform for a variety of events, such as fund raising for churches and charities, and performing for local events ... We aim to have fun as well as try to improve and to provide an environment in which people are encouraged to "have a go". We also socialise as a group and often have a celebratory meal after concerts!’

 

‘Originally founded in 2008, under the auspices of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as part of its outreach programme. After five successful years the orchestra gained sufficient momentum to flee the nest and, with support from Glasgow Life, is now an independent organization, whilst continuing to enjoy amicable associations with the BBC SSO team ... It provides a great opportunity to polish musical skills, gain confidence, get back into music, or to have a go at playing in an orchestra for the first time. All players are welcome, from adult learners to advanced musicians, from beginners to rusty returners.‘

'Founded in 1973 and performs regularly in Street and Wells. From the player’s point of view, the aim is to give local amateur orchestral musicians of a high standard the opportunity to rehearse together, and to take part in four concerts during the year. From the music-lover’s point of view, we aim to give good performances of the classics for the enjoyment of the residents of this part of the country. For many years now, the orchestra has actively encouraged the support of young people by specially low-priced tickets.'

‘Amersham’s local community orchestra ... Formed in 1962, MSO has gone from strength to strength in recent years and its repertoire now includes many works rarely attempted by amateur groups.’

'From car parks to schools and festivals, we create amazing live classical experiences performed by incredible musicians. We started back in 2011 when our partners Bold Tendancies welcomed us into their amazing disused car park space to perform Stravinsky's monumental Rite of Spring. We had such a great time (as did our audience!) that we've been going back ever since - performing every year as part of the Bold Tendencies summer season. We also tour the whole Orchestra around schools to play in school halls and playgrounds. And hundreds of school students come and perform with us as choirs and instrumentalists ...'

 

Also indexedBold Tendancies

Founded 1995: ‘With many of our founding members still playing a vital part in the orchestra, along with the addition of many more new players, the orchestra continues to go from strength to strength and has come to be seen as something of a local institution ... We enjoying playing classics and light music and regularly perform Beethoven, Mozart, Rossini and Haydn, along with seasonal pieces, helping Nailsea get in the mood for Easter, summertime and Christmas. Regularly featuring promising young solo musicians and vocalists, the orchestra offers music for the young and old alike.’

 

 

‘Has been in existence since 2002 ... We are amateur musicians from a wide variety of backgrounds and span a variety of ages! We aim for a high standard; there is no entrance audition but we would suggest Grade 5 standard as a minimum ... New or prospective players can be sure of a friendly welcome. We see it as part of our function to be able to offer orchestral experience to improving players and to rusty players who might want to come back to orchestral playing after a gap of some years. We find that resuming regular playing in an orchestral setting always leads to both improvement and enjoyment ... We hold 3-4 concerts a year, in various venues in the New Forest. We usually perform in both the Lymington Arts Festival and Milford on Sea Arts Festival.’

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