How is Magna Sinfonia different to other local orchestras?
We believe there is gap in the area for a really high-quality amateur orchestra that bridges the gap between an inclusive one and a fully-fledged professional one. We aim to attract the highest quality of players through a fairly strict criteria. We also exist primarily for the player and for the purposes of creating really enjoyable playing experiences. This means we tackle repertoire that isn’t necessarily popular with audiences. We also hope to create a network of players to form smaller ensembles who are up for getting together to tackle some of the chamber repertoire. We use fully professional conductors established on the circuit, employing different conductors for each concert. Each one brings something different to an orchestra and we feel that playing under different conductors is a real benefit to the player.
Is there any sort of entry criteria?
Yes. We ask for a minimum Grade 8 standard although we don’t expect proof!
What is the entry process?
We want to keep the whole process as informal as possible but can’t get away from the fact that in order to maintain the standard we have to have some sort of entry process. For string principles and all wind and brass we will want to hear you play on your own. This will mean playing a piece of your choice (maximum 3 minutes) and preparing an orchestral excerpt. For tutti strings it will be on a trial basis – come and play with us and see how it goes!
How many concerts will you do a year?
Our current intention is to do three a year plus a weekend 'project' during the Easter holidays.
How many rehearsals will you have?
The number of rehearsals may depend on the repertoire being tackled and also people’s availability/preference but on average there will be four rehearsals for each concert. We’re definitely willing to adapt to attract the best players.
When are rehearsals be?
Our current pattern is two whole Sunday's, 11-5, one evening and then on the afternoon of the concert.
Where do you get your conductors from?
We use professional conductors that are known to us or the players and come with a recommendation. They are all well-respected conductors working within the profession.
How do you choose repertoire?
The main influence on choosing repertoire will be based on what the players want to play. We most certainly take suggestions. It is also likely to depend on forces available. Ultimately it is a committee of players that decide.
How is the orchestra funded?
There is a per-concert subscription of £35 (£15 for full-time students/unemployed). There is also be ticket income, and a small income from refreshments.
Is anyone paid?
At the moment, only the conductor. We want to explore the option of paying a leader but this is a little bit down the line once the orchestra is up and running and fully established.
What will you do with any profit?
We are a non-profit organisation. Any profit that is made will be ploughed back into the orchestra. Our finances will be fully transparent.