Information for new members


Welcome to the Solent Concert Orchestra. Here are some guidelines on what is expected of our members.  


There is no audition, but we suggest a minimum standard of grade 5. Prospective members undertake a trial period of  playing with the orchestra during which due allowance is made for rusty players getting up to speed, after which an  invitation to join permanently is dependent on discussions between section leaders, conductor and the orchestra leader.  


These take place during term time on Thursday evenings at Bramshaw Village Hall, Row Hill Cottage, Bramshaw,  Lyndhurst, SO43 7JE from 7.45pmpm to 9.45 pm. Please arrive (with your instrument, music, stand, pencil, etc.) in good time to  set up, warm up, and be ready to start promptly at 7.45pm. We have a ten minute break during the rehearsal for notices and socialising so please bring your own drink if you would like to. We will finish at 9.45pm. The Thursday rehearsal immediately prior to a concert usually takes place at the concert venue. A rehearsal schedule is published on the website and regularly updated, however  you should bring all your music with you each week, as the schedule may change. Regular attendance is required, but if  absence is unavoidable you should inform the secretary (Caroline Biggin), the conductor (Simon Wilkins), and your section  leader, as well as the register secretary (Kaylee Gault) as soon as possible. Please ensure you have the necessary contact  details (your section leader or a committee member can help you with this).  


The orchestra gives three to four concerts a year in various venues around the local area, performing a wide variety  of music and styles, ranging from film / stage music and light classics to full symphonies and concertos. Usually, one  concert each year is devoted to “lighter” music. Before each concert a concert schedule is posted to give details of the  concert venue, start times of the rehearsal and the concert, the running order of music, the dress code, etc.  


Concert repertoire is chosen by the Music Selection Committee, but members are very welcome to suggest a piece by  writing it in the suggestions book (available at rehearsals). All suggestions are considered by the committee. Some may  be deemed unsuitable for the orchestra due to lack of availability, required instrumentation, difficulty, cost, etc., and this  feedback is entered into the book and available in the minutes of that committee, which are posted in the members  section on the orchestra’s website. The majority of pieces selected are based on players’ suggestions.  


At the start of each new rehearsal phase, music required for the next concert will be handed out, with a wallet for keeping  the music in. It is your responsibility to look after it and bring it to every rehearsal. Additionally, you will usually need to  download some music and print your own copy in time for the first rehearsal. Information on this can be found on the  website under “music to download”. We are happy to help if there are any problems, so please ask. Music is collected in at  the end of each concert. If you are unable to attend a concert, please ensure all music you have been given is returned  before the concert. Please return everything you have been loaned promptly as losses can be costly to the orchestra. 


The website ( provides general information about the orchestra such as our history,  previous and future concerts, a photo gallery, committee members, etc. The rehearsal schedule is published in the  “rehearsal information” section. Please ask a member of the committee to give you the password for the “members’  pages” section of the site where you will find lots of useful resources such as committee meeting minutes, concert  schedules, social arrangements, etc. 


A subscription is due at the start of each term. New members are given their first term free, after which their membership  may be reviewed. Subscriptions are currently £40 per term. Should this prove difficult, please talk to the treasurer  (Howard Moore) who will be happy to discuss your individual circumstances.


To print, download:

Information for New Members – Feb. ’22