Membership of the orchestra is by subscription and is subject to conditions as described in the Rules and Constitution. There are no formal auditions or entry requirements, although players will normally be expected to have had some orchestral experience. However, a willingness to learn and a commitment to attend Tuesday evening rehearsals regularly are equally important.
From September 2021, all regular rehearsals take place on Tuesday evenings at Shirley Methodist Church, 257 Stratford Road, Shirley, B90 3AL between 19:30 and 21:45. Please arrive in good time, and always bring your own stand – there are no stands at the venue. In the current circumstances, please also print your own music parts and bring your own refreshment for the break. We hope to resume normal service as soon as possible!
The subscription rate for 2022-23 is £135. We encourage members to pay online annually, but a termly rate of £50 is possible in some circumstances. The subscription covers the costs of rehearsals, orchestral tuition and occasional sectional coaching from professional musicians. Subscriptions are not normally charged for a new member’s first term, or for student members.
From September 2022 members will have the option of paying for interval refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits and cake) for the year (£15) or termly (£5) as part of their subscription – £150 for the year, or £55 per term. It will not be possible to pay for refreshments with cash on a week by week basis.
Instrumentalists interested in joining the orchestra are invited to contact us. We also welcome enquiries for short term membership – if you’re studying here for a year, or on a short term work placement for example ?
New members are welcome any time. At the moment, we are actively looking for extra players in the following areas –
Strings – particular vacancies for one or two 2nd violins, violas and double basses, but enquiries always welcome from other string players.
Timpani / percussion – enquiries welcome from any musicians able to help with percussion parts on concert days, and from timpanists (ideally with their own kit.) We’re very happy to consider school or college students who are learning drums and would like to try playing in an orchestra!
We maintain a waiting list for other woodwind and brass players interested in joining us in the future, and willing to deputise at short notice for occasional rehearsals or works with expanded wind sections. Please contact us if you would like to be on the waiting list – or if you have were last in contact more than a year ago, please get in touch againto make sure we have your up to date details.
Keyboard players are sometimes needed for concerts, but enquiries are welcome from anyone willing to attend occasional rehearsals as well to fill in occasional harp, xylophone or piano parts.
updated 3 July 2022