About City of Carlisle Orchestra

The City of Carlisle Orchestra has been performing in and around the Carlisle area for over 50 years!

The City of Carlisle Orchestra, originally called the Eden Concert Orchestra was first formed in 1962 by David Wells, Music Adviser to the Carlisle Education Committee. The Eden Orchestra changed its name to the City of Carlisle Orchestra in 1997

Raymond Brown, who came to Carlisle as Music Adviser in 1963, carried the Orchestra forward, and the Director of Education, Mr L. Charnley, who greatly supported and encouraged music in Carlisle schools at that time, also supported the Eden Orchestra. Subsequent conductors have included David Parkinson (1971 - 1976 ), John Hammond who guided the Orchestra for 33 years (1976 - 2009), Tom Howe (2009-2013), and more recently Hannah Quinn and Ryan Bancroft.

The orchestras objective is to provide an opportunity for regular rehearsals of the symphony repertoire for amateur and professional players, and to perform three outstanding concerts per year to our audience in Carlisle. During the pandemic many of us have carried on with our music making, by zooming together and playing a new piece every week. It has kept us going through very trying times.

The Orchestra plays three concerts a year in the city. For at least one of these concerts, guest professional soloists or gifted amateurs are invited to perform with the orchestra. We are sometimes joined by The Carlisle Youth Orchestra.

City of Carlisle Orchestra finally makes music again

After a hiatus of nearly 18 months, the City of Carlisle Orchestra was finally able to resume weekly rehearsals at the beginning of September, heading towards a concert on Saturday 4 December. Industry-recommended Covid 19 protocols were applied to the rehearsal to keep the musicians safe and guidelines current at the time will be in place at the concert. Unable to meet face to face since March 2020, members have maintained instrumental skills and essential muscle memory by replacing their regular Tuesday evening slots with rehearsals via Zoom. “It hasn’t been perfect,” comments music director and conductor Leon Reimer, “Naturally, we had to play to a recorded piece of music with everyone muted to avoid different time anomalies, but across 76 Zoom meetings, we’ve tackled a wide range of orchestral repertoire. More importantly, we’ve been able to keep in touch socially and on finally getting together, the camaraderie was evident, with an air of celebration that we were able to meet up again at last. And I’m happy to say the standard of ensemble playing was very good after such a long break!”

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