COWLEY ORCHESTRA is a chamber orchestra usually of about 16 - 20 players strong, which meets on a Wednesday evening during term time.
Our main aim is to have an enjoyable evening of music making with like-minded players.
COWLEY ORCHESTRA is a little unusual in that we don't give concerts but each week we sight read through 6 or 7 pieces from our 400+ strong library which includes a very wide selection of music of the classical composers Handel, Mozart, Purcell, through Mendelssohn, Weber and Walton plus light music of the 19th and 20th Century, Gilbert and Sullivan, Ketelby, Rogers and Hammerstein, Leroy Anderson. We also have many of the short arrangements that used to be played on the BBC Light programme, such as Teddy Bears Picnic.
Unless one of us really wants to, we don't usually repeat a programme from week to week and it takes us 2-3 years to get through our collection. A typical evening might well include; My Fair Lady, a Haydn symphony, a Gershwin piece, Lustspiel, Teddy Bears' Picnic, Fingal's Cave, The ostracised Imp, Le Boulevardier.
We are all very friendly and enjoy listening to each other - our aim is to explore the music and have fun. The standard of players varies a lot of course, but on the whole all of us are able to sight read well enough to play at the 'correct' tempo straight away, but we repeat bits when they have gone drastically wrong, or if anyone feels they want to enjoy the music again.
We welcome anyone who wishes to play, we have no particular age range, but are predominantly an adult orchestra. We also welcome players of different standards, as long as you like the idea of sight-reading and are happy to give it a go. Luckily we have some very good clarinet and string players with us at the moment, which is especially helpful in the Beethoven Symphonies!