Joining us: FAQs
How is Magna Sinfonia different to other local orchestras?
The orchestra was founded on the belief that there was a desire 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 and 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 use fully professional conductors established on the circuit, employing different conductors for each concert; each one brings something different to the orchestra and we feel that playing under different conductors is a real benefit to the player.
Is there any sort of entry criteria?
We want to keep the whole entry process as informal as possible but can’t get away from the fact that in order to maintain the high standard we achieve; we have to have some sort of entry process. We generally require players to have attained minimum Grade 8 standard. 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!
Full details of the audition procedure are available in our Rules and Regulations document.
How many concerts will you do a year?
Our aim is to stage three a year plus a weekend 'project' during the Easter holidays.
How many rehearsals will you have?
The number of rehearsals will 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.
Where are rehearsals held?
This can vary, but will always be in the BCP area. Our preferred rehearsal venue is Parkstone Grammar School in Poole, Sopers Lane, Poole BH17 9EP, so most rehearsals will be held there.
Where are concerts held?
We us a variety of performance venues ranging from churches and school halls to Christchurch Priory and The Lighthouse in Poole, as determined primarily by suitability for the event.
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 income from ticket sales, bar sales at concerts, raffles and a small income from rehearsal refreshments.
Is anyone paid?
The conductor and the orchestra leader are paid a fee for their services.
What will you do with any profit?
We are a non-profit organisation. We have a reserves policy, which means we retain an amount to cover exceptional expenditure, but apart from this, any profit that is made will be ploughed back into the orchestra or used to further our aims. Our finances are fully transparent and are reported at the orchestra’s AGM and in the charity’s annual report to the Charities Commission.