Orchestral in West Berkshire and North Hampshire.
We are a friendly amateur wind orchestra which meets in Beenham most Friday evenings.
We normally put on three or four local concerts each year, and often play at local fetes and events.
We also hold weekly chamber music sessions, where members play in smaller groups.
Berkshire Maestros is the lead organisation for the Berkshire Music Education Hub, responsible for delivering the aims of the government’s National Plan for Music Education across five Unitary Authorities in Berkshire.
Our key role, in collaboration with schools, parents, local music providers and key partners, is to provide a high quality, comprehensive musical experience to the widest group of pupils, regardless of their background or ability.
DA CAPO (Do All Come And Play Orchestra!) is an independently run adult learners' orchestra, meeting at Padworth Village Hall, Padworth Lane, RG7 4HY (off the A4 between Woolhampton and Theale) from 7.30-9.30 on Thursday evenings in term time.
There's no minimum standard, and all orchestral or band instruments are accepted. It's intended to offer a progressive experience for everyone.
Beginners are welcome to join as soon as they are brave enough, but the orchestra caters for a wide variety of players who may stay for years or move on when they have regained confidence, perhaps after many years of not playing. Recorders, plucked strings such as guitars and fixed pitch instruments such as accordions are not appropriate.
Patsy Moore AGSM ARCM
Conductor, Arranger etc.
One of the oldest non-professional orchestras in England, the Newbury Symphony Orchestra (NSO) comprises sixty to seventy enthusiastic amateur musicians of all ages and draws its members and audience from four counties. Our resident professional conductor is John Traill and our leader is Rachael Elliott. The orchestra owes much to Adrian Brown, who conducted it for twenty-three years.
A major objective of NSO is to encourage young and up-and-coming soloists by inviting them to perform concertos. Soloists John Lill and Barry Tuckwell have gone on to achieve international acclaim after performing with the orchestra. Recent popular soloists have included Lawrence Power (viola), Madalina Rusu (piano), Irene Enzlin (cello) and the well-known local singer Janet Coxwell (soprano).
The orchestra continues to make a vital and valuable contribution to the cultural environment of Newbury and its surrounding area. In addition to performing two major concerts a year, it regularly takes part in the Newbury Spring Festival, one of the UK’s major arts festivals. Another regular commitment is to the Hungerford and District Community Arts Festival.
Rehearsals take place in Newbury on Wednesday evenings during school terms. New players are always welcome, and there are opportunities in every section for enthusiastic amateur musicians, especially violas, double basses, French horns, trumpets and trombones. The suggested minimum standard, in the string section at least, is Associated Board Grade 7. Playing members each pay an annual subscription (reduced for seniors and students). It is also possible to give financial support by joining the Friends of NSO.
The Saturday Morning Orchestra is an amateur orchestra of players of all ages and abilities who meet on Saturday mornings to enjoy rehearsing a wide variety of orchestral music. Our programme is chosen to allow the exploration of a varied repertoire in a friendly workshop environment. We rehearse and perform mainly for our own pleasure but at the end of each term, we hold an open rehearsal for 'friends and loved ones'. Please check the website for details of vacancies - we do ask for grade 5 standard or above for string players.
As one member summarised: "SMO provides an opportunity to gain experience and confidence in a welcoming and supportive environment without the pressure of performing to the paying public." Overwhelmingly the message to you if you are thinking of trying SMO is "give it a go!".
Beansheaf Community Centre
Southern Sinfonia is a professional chamber orchestra and much, much more.
Our many activities include world-class concerts across the South of England, an inclusive and exciting education and community outreach programme, two competitions catering for both ends of the age spectrum and a diverse presentation of upcoming young artists and musicians as part of our Café Concert series.
Our broad approach to programming and repertoire means that the orchestra plays music ranging from the 17th Century through to the contemporary, including premieres and own commissions. This wide variety makes each season exciting and unique for audiences and musicians alike.