History

The Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra has been playing in Essex for 45 years.  The Orchestra was originally formed in 1973 with the name of Fairkytes Sinfonia and was based in Hornchurch, Essex.  It moved in 1989 to Brentwood, Essex 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. It has since gone on to be one of the leading Essex orchestras drawing players from Essex and surrounding areas.

 

Since 1999 most of the BPO's rehearsals and concerts have been at the Brentwood Ursuline Convent High School in Brentwood, Essex.  The Orchestra has also given concerts 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, the Wessex Auditorium at Brentwood School, St Thomas's Church, Brentwood and Brentwood Theatre. We are most grateful to St Thomas's Church for allowing us to use the church with its wonderfully warm acoustic for our concerts next season.


The BPO was delighted to be chosen by Cllr Mark Reed, the Mayor of Brentwood in 2015/2016, as one of his mayoral charities together with SNAP and to receive a generous donation towards our purchase of much-needed new set of timpani. 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. 

 

The Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra 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, we have had a deliberate policy of having a core family of conductors and welcoming guest conductors.  Bradley Winand has regularly conducted the orchestra in a wide range of music and we are pleased to have welcomed David Pickthall back to our family of conductors for sold-out concerts of film music. 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, David Todd and Dominic Grier.

 

The Brentwood Philharmonic Orchestra was registered as a charity in 2002 (registered number 1090184).