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The English Festival Orchestra

‘It’s a pleasure to work with an orchestra that listens so well, plays so well and genuinely seems to enjoy what it’s doing’

‘There was so much fine playing from your excellent team of orchestral players’

‘The orchestra sound was unremitting delight’ 

The Really Big Chorus is delighted to work with The English Festival Orchestra at all its Royal Albert Hall concerts, a relationship which came about thanks to a recommendation from the late Sir David Willcocks (chief conductor of TRBC from 1979 to 2010).

The English Festival Orchestra was formed in 1984 with the intention of providing a high-quality professional orchestra for major choirs and choral societies both in the South East and further afield. Following its inaugural appearance at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, the orchestra has performed at many prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican (London), Canterbury Cathedral, Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Royal Concert Hall (Nottingham) and the De Montfort Hall (Leicester).

The Orchestra particularly enjoys its association with The Really Big Chorus, a partnership which has created links with choral societies and individual singers throughout the UK and abroad. The connection with Sir David Willcocks also enabled the Orchestra to form a long-lasting relationship with the Leith Hill Musical Festival, of which Sir David was President for many years. The Orchestra played annually for this Festival under a succession of conductors between 1993 and 2016, and greatly valued the friendships built with that unique organisation during that time.

In addition to providing first-rate, experienced players for every concert, the English Festival Orchestra offers on-the-day orchestra and stage management led always by one of its senior management team who are ready to offer help wherever required. With 35 years’ experience, most problems can be anticipated and dealt with in advance; any unforeseen eventualities are dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

To contact the Orchestra for a competitive quote, please email