We want to make ERSO the best possible orchestra it can be for our players.  That means playing exciting and challenging music that will attract and retain good players, who will come together for fun, friendly and satisfying rehearsals and fantastic concerts in front of large, appreciative audiences. 

We want to create a greater sense of engagement and involvement with our players so we can be clearer about what our players want so we can make the best plans.  To increase involvement, Membership Secretary Matt Raven (a long-time ERSO cellist) will be working on plans to for the social side of ERSO both at rehearsals and post-concert gatherings.

It costs about £30,000 per year to run ERSO.  Although we have an annual grant from the Ernest Read Trust, we need to raise a considerable amount of money each season. Covid-19 really affected our income by reducing members donations, ticket sales and grants obtained from our fundraising programme.  To enable the return to programming bigger and more exciting works, we need to bring our Members Donations back to pre-Covid levels. 

What does being a Member mean?

  • Joining our Members List which will help us communicate with you more effectively about all the latest ERSO news and plans.  To do this, please email the following info to
    • Name
    • Email
    • Mobile
    • whether you will be
      • making a monthly donation by standing order (preferred)
      • making an annual donation
      • making a dontaion by concert
      • a non Donating Member
    • whether you are a UK tax payer
  • You will need to pay a £1 Membership Fee (enables us to claim GiftAid on Members’ Donations) which can be paid to Colin by credit card at a rehearsal or by electronic transfer to Music Illuminated R/C (sort code 089299, account 65050778).  Remember to include your name in the “Reference” field.
  • You will be able to participate in our new Annual Repertoire Selection Process.  Members will be able to add as many suggestions as they want to our master repertoire list.  Once we have gathered the suggestions, Members will vote for the pieces they would like to play the most. Chris will use this information when creating the programmes for the next season.
  • You will be able to give your views on how ERSO runs (both musically and socially) in our new annual ERSO Survey.  This will usually happen at the end of each season but to kick things off we will give newly signed up Members the chance to give their views in the autumn of 2022.
    You can also feed any suggestions or concerns to committee members and are welcome to attend committee meetings
  • You will have priority for taking part in a concert if the section is over-subscribed
  • We ask that Members make Members’ Donations, unless this would cause any hardship. 
    • Unlike many other orchestras, we will not operate a “pay to play” policy, as we understand that pensioners, students and people on low incomes or who are unemployed may find making any donation difficult.  We want to emphasise that there is no obligation to donate if this applies to you. We would much rather have you on board making music with us!
    • So, if this is the case for you, when you sign up as a member, just need to sign up as “currently not a donating member” to enjoy all of the same benefits as other members.
    • Members who are in a position to make donations without creating any hardship, particularly if they are in full-time employment, are asked to make donations as this will allow us to make more ambitious plans and reduce the huge amount of work that is involved in external fundraising.
Recommended Member’s Donations
Per concert£30.00
Monthly standing order£10.00

Please notes that these are only recommendations, and some members donate more or less as they feel appropriate.  The recommended annual donation works out around £5.00 for a half day rehearsal if you were to attend them all this season and are also significantly lower than many other London amateur orchestras of a similarly high standard who charge mandatory fees.

To find out how to pay go to: