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.
In 1999 the BPO found a new base for its activities at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School in Brentwood, Essex where it has since held most of its rehearsals and given most of its concerts performing a wide variety of music. 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 and Felsted School Chapel. In 2014 the BPO will be performing its February concert at the new Wessex Auditorium at Brentwood School.
The BPO is delighted to have played a wide variety of music with a number of conductors as well as a large number of both up-and-coming and established soloists. Its main conductors in recent years have been Alan Pegrum (since 2010 the President of the BPO and, from 1999 to 2010, its chairman) and Roger Lawrence (Music Director 2001-2011). More recently the BPO has also played under Bradley Winand, Nicholas Sherwood, Bill Brooks, John Hawkins, Dean Foley, Brian Lynn and Leigh Thomas.
The BPO was registered as a charity in 2002 (registered number 1090184).