Move back to Chiltern Edge School -  from 10 January 2017 we are moving back to Chiltern Edge School in Reades Lane, Sonning Common. Tea and coffee will still be available in the break.

Horns, Bassoons and Trombones needed - if you are looking for an orchestra to join, come and give us a go! Strings are also always welcome. Do email via the contact form, or phone, and we will have music waiting for you.

We were shocked and saddened
by the death of our first horn, Edmund Pike. Edmund had been with Chiltern Edge Orchestra for many years, not only as a player, but also as a committee member. Edmund was a huge asset to the orchestra and always able to provide the history of the pieces we played, particularly in the meticulously researched programmes that he produced for our twice yearly concerts. This was a piece that Edmund wrote for an exhibition in Caversham library:

During my wartime boyhood, instrumental tuition was impossible, but I learned sight reading in a little village school in Worcester and then taught myself the recorder at age 10 – years before it was taught in schools. At grammar school, I was desperate to join the orchestra and I forced my way in as second percussionist until I could play the violin well enough. At exam times, Gilbert & Sullivan won over revision, as, in those egalitarian times, one was only awarded an ungraded GCE pass and the pass mark was 40 or 50 per cent. After University (Bacteriology and post-graduate research), things languished until at age 47, a big band trumpeter friend said, “Try my trumpet. I think you can do it.” He was stunned when I purchased my French horn and began teaching myself. About six months later, I went to Stevenage Town Band and told them I played the ‘horn’. I was given a tenor horn and practised like mad for the next few weeks. 

18 months later, in 1985, we moved to Sonning Common and I read about the Orchestra in the SC Magazine, “Explore the classics. No auditions.” At the opening practice, they saw the shape of my case and said, “Have you come to join us?” My sensation in the practice was wonderful – my debut on French horn and I was playing in a Mozart piano concerto! I also joined Pangbourne Silver Band (tenor horn, 2nd cornet) and sing/play (bass recorder, euphonium, horn) in music at St Michael’s RC Church, SC. One never ceases learning about music, as there is so much and the Orchestra has introduced me to lyricism and Englishness in music. My favourite achievement: setting the Orchestra’s recording of Dvorak’s 6th Symphony in D to video recordings of scenic journeys in the Thames Valley and central Wales .

Some interesting links to Youtube videos....

Bach im Bahnhof - Alban Berg plays in Berlin's Main Station - Jascha Heifetz on bad students - This drummer is at the wrong gig... - Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. Look out for the last couple of moments in this clip (from the last movement), where the whole orchestra is coming in on the “and” of beats one and three… then notice how long he waits before the chord that kicks the piece back “in the groove.” - There's always room for cello...