Although the orchestra has the service of two professional musicians, the conductor and the leader, the group is in all other respects an amateur society. The players are office workers and housewives, administrators and technicians, doctors and a dentist, lawyers, a professor and a head of department in a media organisation, two teachers… the list is endless.
The players each pay close to £200 a year for membership, which includes some 30 rehearsals in addition to concerts. Subscriptions go towards the hire costs of rehearsal and concert venues, the hire of music (often up to £400 for just one item), publicity and the fees paid to the two tutors and the one or two other professional players necessary to complete the “cast” as specified in the score for each concert item. The repertoire is chosen to give involvement to every section at weekly rehearsals.
Kate Hill; Matthew Roche, cello