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.  


Rehearsals 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 don’t have a rota to put out/away chairs as some people can’t arrive early or stay late, so if you are able to help please do so.

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 sometimes 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 on the rehearsal information page of the website to give details including the concert venue, directions, start times of the rehearsal and the concert, the running order of music, and the dress code. Concert ettiquette is also included on the concert schedule. 


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, for example due to lack of availability, required instrumentation, difficulty or cost. This feedback is entered into the book so that you are able to see discussions that have taken place. 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. If you are unable to attend the librarian will keep your music for you until you are next available. It is your responsibility to look after it and bring it to every rehearsal. Please take special care of hired parts and remove any markings you may make to them before they are returned to the librarian.

The rehearsal schedule is available on the website under rehearsal information” but do bring all your music with you to each rehearsal so that you are ready should there be time for unplanned repertoire to be played. 

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 “rehearsal information” on this website where you will be able to download a PDF with full instructions. Music will be readily available with IMSLP links, youtube links and bowing information where relevant.

Music is collected in at the end of each concert, on the concer day itself. If you are unable to attend a concert, please ensure all music you have been given is returned  before the concert. If you miss a concert unexpectedly, the librarian will collect your music at the following rehearsal. The librarian will clarify exactly what music needs to be returned. 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.


There are many jobs that need doing from concert planning, management, social media, putting out chairs at rehearsals, organising and liaising with charities, helping with guest players, bowing, etc. If you would like to help with anything do contact a member of the committee.