Dear ERSO players,

We really hope that you and your families are well and coping in these uncertain times.  We miss you all and can’t wait to see you all again.

We are currently waiting for updated Government guidance on when amateur orchestras will be allowed to start rehearsing again, and we are making plans to ensure that we have protocols in place to allow this to happen safely once we are given the green light.

Please be reassured that we will make sure that we will follow the government’s rules fully and will only begin rehearsing when it has been decided that this is safe.

We also wanted to reassure you that, if you do not feel comfortable returning to orchestra until the Covid-19 situation is different, we will keep your space open and will be delighted to have you back when the time is right for you.

It is possible that we may be allowed to rehearse but not be able to have concerts with a paying audience, and in that event we propose to go ahead with rehearsals and hold a “lock-in” concert in our venue, possibly recording the event.

Changes to next year’s plans

Follow this link to  see the DRAFT schedule for 2020-21.  You will see that the first concert has been changed to be of a far smaller scale in order to allow better social distancing in rehearsal.   We have also, sadly, decided to postpone our exciting 90th Birthday concert (which was to have been in February 2020 at the Royal Academy of Music) to later in the year.  This event is a real landmark for the orchestra, and we want to be able to celebrate properly and safely in front of a decent sized audience.

Please bear with us during the season –  we are planning based on the current situation and, as events unfold, the plan will need to be reviewed and adjusted as necessary.

Draft Schedule 2020/21 season

Concert 1 – 6.30pm on 25 October 2020, St Andrew’s Holborn

Conductors: Chris Stark

Soloist: winner of 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year

Papp – Birthday Fanfare
2222-4221 – perc

Concerto  – TBC (Winner of ERSO Finalist of the Year 2020)

Schumann – 3rd Symphony

2222 – 423 – timp

Strings required

Rehearsals (7 half days)

27 September              10am-1pm and 2-5pm.

10-1am            Time on tricky areas of the soloist’s concertos.

2-5pm             Final of ERSO Soloist of the Year (Open Rehearsal)

Time Finalist Piece Orchestration
2 – 2.40 Preston Yeo Sibelius Violin Concerto 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, strings
2.40 – 3.20 Grady Hassan Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto 2 flutes (2nd also piccolo), oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, timpani, snare drum, cymbals, triangle, bass drum, strings
3.40 – 4.20 Alastair Penman


Tableaux de Provence by Paule Maurice 2.3(ca).2.1 / / 1timb / 1perc / xyl / cel / hp /


4.20 – 5.00 Hugo Mak Rossini Bassoon Concerto 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 1 bassoon / 2 horns, 2 trumpets / timpani / strings

4 October                    10 -1, 2-5pm (tutti).

11 October                  10am-1pm (string sectionals) and 2-5pm.

18 October                  2-5pm

25 October                 2.30–5.30pm, concert 6.30pm (NB can only get into church at 2pm on the day)



Concert 2 – 4.30pm on 29 Nov – “A night at the movies” family concert with Camden Training Orchestra at Camden Girls School. 

Presenter Caroline Welsh

Prokofiev Lieutenant Kije Suite   3222 – 4231 – tenor sax and cornet – piano, celeste, perc, harp, strings   c. 20 mins

Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune  3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets (A), 2 bassoons, 4 horns (F), 2 harps, 2 crotales, strings

(Strings required

Rehearsals (4 half days)

November 15th          10 – 1 (tutti), 2-5pm  (string sectionals)

November 22nd         10 – 1, 2-5pm

November 29th          1 – 4pm, concert 4.30pm

1 – 2.30pm      ERSO only rehearsal

2.30 – 4pm      Children from Camden Training orchestra will rehearse with ERSO

Concert 4.30pm


Concert 3 – 6.30pm on 14 Feb at St John’s Waterloo

Conductors: Chris Stark

Soloist: one of the finalists from 2020 ERSO Soloist of the Year

Destro – Fanfare         3232-4231 – perc

Concerto  – TBC (Finalist of ERSO Finalist of the Year 2020)

Strauss – Symphony no 2      2222 – 42 (F and C)31 – timp

Strings required

Rehearsals (6 half days)

January 24th             10-1, 2-5pm

January 31st              10-1, 2-5pm

January 7th               10-1, 2-5pm

February 14th           concert



Concert 4 –  March  – date TBC

Conductors: Chris Stark

Massenet – Suite d’orchestre No.7

2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 cornets, 3 trombones, tuba,timpani, percussion, strings, off-stage drums, bugles, bell, strings

Potentially with Camden School for Girls


Concert 5 – 6.30pm on 20 June 2021 – Waterloo Festival concert at St John’s Waterloo

Conductors: Chris Stark

Soloist: winner of 2021 ERSO Soloist of the Year

Concerto – TBC (Winner of ERSO Finalist of the Year 2021)

Strauss –  Alpine Symphony (2 piccolos (also flutes), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn (also oboe), heckelphone/bass oboe, clarinet (E♭), 2 clarinets (B♭), bass clarinet (B♭, also clarinet (C)), 3 bassoons, contrabassoon (also bassoon), 4 horns (F), 4 Wagner tubas (also horns 5-8), 4 trumpets (2 B♭, 2 in E, C), 4 trombones, 2 tubas, timpani (2 sets), percussion (snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tam-tam, cowbells, wind machine, thundersheet, glockenspiel) 2 harps, celesta, organ, strings,

Offstage brass (12 horns (E♭), 2 trumpets (C), 2 trombones)

(Strings required 

Rehearsals (10 half days)

25 April          2-5pm

9 May              10-1, 2-5pm (pm will be the final of E0RSO soloist of the Year)

16 May            10-1 (string sectionals), 2-5pm (tutti)

23 May            10-1, 2-5pm

6 June              10-1, 2-5pm (incl soloist rehearsal)

13 June            2-5pm.  Open Event at St John’s Waterloo

20 June            2.30–5.30pm, concert 6.30pm