The Luton Concert Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Bryan Summerfield and Roy Hammond with the aim of promoting the playing of light classical music in the area, using players from the local population. The repertoire is very varied, including selections from some of the all-time great musicals, Gilbert & Sullivan, film music and so on. The players come from varied of different backgrounds and we are particularly keen on encouraging young people, many of whom have been very talented and have gone on to higher musical training. We do two concerts a year – one usually at the start of May and the other at the start of October. Over the last few years we have added a pre-Christmas charity concert, a combined venture with the renowned Vauxhall Male Voice Choir. This has proved to be a very popular event in Dunstable and considerable sums of money have been sent to the designated local charity, which has included local schools for children with disabilities, the local air ambulance and most recently LAMP – the Luton Accommodation and Move-on Project – helping homeless young people in the area.
The orchestra has played in a number of different locations previously and in 2010 the decision was made to move to the Methodist Church – The Square in Dunstable, very close to the centre of town. There is a large car park immediately next to the church, which itself is set back from the start of High Street South on its West Street side, and is immediately adjacent to Wilkinsons. Our Musical Director is Terry Driver – very well known in the area for many years, as a high class player of the violin and director of other musical societies. We are always looking for new players – especially those of stringed instruments. We do not hold auditions but it is helpful if players are at least of Grade 5 standard. The rehearsal schedules are 5 Friday evenings, 7.30 – 9.30 in the before each concert with a further rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert. For the charity concert there are just 2 Friday rehearsals. Recently we have moved to a new venue for the Friday rehearsals – the Luton Road Methodist Church, Dunstable, LU5 4LR. There is a car park at the back of this church and the entrance is also at the back. This move was to enable us to reduce costs. We try to keep subscriptions as low as possible – they are £20 for a term or £40 for the year, or half price for concessions. If you are interested in joining the orchestra or at least giving us a go, please use the ‘contact us’ tab.