History

The Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) was originally formed in 1973 with the name of Fairkytes Sinfonia and was based in Hornchurch, Essex.  It moved in 1989 to Brentwood and in 1990 was renamed the Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra.  Past conductors from this era include Robert Pepper, Don Hart, David Pickthall, Graeme Wright and Michael Applewhite.

 

Since 1999 most of the BPO's rehearsals and concerts have been at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School in Brentwood, Essex.  Concerts have also been given elsewhere in Essex: at the Anglo European School in Ingatestone, Bishops Hill in Hutton, Brentwood Cathedral, St Mary’s Church in Shenfield, Felsted School Chapel, the Brentwood Centre and Brentwood Theatre. In 2014 the BPO was delighted to welcome David Pickthall back to conduct a sell-out concert of film music at the new state of the art Wessex Auditorium at Brentwood School. The BPO has since played there again in February 2015 and 2016 - again sell-out concerts. Most recently the BPO returned after an absence of many years to perform in the wonderfully warm acoustic at St Thomas's Church, Brentwood.  


The BPO was delighted to have been chosen by Cllr Mark Reed, the Mayor of Brentwood in 2015/2016, as one of his mayoral charities together with SNAP. As part of Mark's mayoral events to raise money for his charities, members of the BPO performed a sold-out concert (generously sponsored by VEGA Hair) of Music for the New Year in the Brentwood Theatre, conducted by John Hawkins. We will return for a further concert there in January 2017. 

 

The BPO has played a wide variety of music with a number of conductors and both up-and-coming and established soloists.  For many years its main conductors were Alan Pegrum (since his retirement from conducting in 2010 he has been the President of the BPO) and Roger Lawrence (Music Director 2001-2011). More recently, Bradley Winand has conducted the October concerts and we are pleased to welcome David Pickthall back to conduct our February concerts. In addition to Bradley Winand and David Pickthall, the BPO has also played under Nicholas Sherwood, Bill Brooks, John Hawkins, Dean Foley, Brian Lynn, Leigh Thomas, Tim Hooper and David Todd.

 

The BPO was registered as a charity in 2002 (registered number 1090184).