Playing in the CCO

Who plays with us?

The Corinthian Chamber Orchestra's membership is drawn from the most talented amateur players in London. However, playing standards are such that young professional players and postgraduate students wishing to brush-up or extend their orchestral experience will sometimes play with the orchestra for a period.

What we expect of our players

  • Attendance at all rehearsals
  • A commitment to learn the music and perform it well
  • Promotion of ticket sales
  • Modest subscription rates

We ask our players to commit to the full rehearsal series in the period leading up to a concert. Inevitably, circumstances will sometimes mean that an individual player is unable to attend a rehearsal. This is recognised, but players are expected to make every effort to get to rehearsals. Where a player consistently fails to attend rehearsals, or misses more than one three-hour session in the run-up to a concert, their participation in the concert and subsequent concerts is at the discretion of the relevant fixer(s).

Players are also asked to ensure that they put in the necessary time to learn and practice the orchestra’s repertoire outside rehearsals. Sectional rehearsals are run for every concert to coach players on the more difficult parts of the repertoire.

We also ask players to promote ticket sales for the orchestra’s concerts. Attracting an audience in the busy world of London’s classical music scene is never easy with a limited budget, and the work of players in selling tickets is vital to the survival of the orchestra.

To cover running costs, the CCO charges a small subscription to players. This is kept to the minimum possible, and is currently £40 per concert.

What we offer in return

  • Performances of an exceptionally high standard
  • Disciplined and thorough rehearsals
  • Sectional rehearsals and coaching by the leader, conductor and section principals
  • A friendly atmosphere

In return for their commitment and ability, players can expect to perform in some of the best concerts being performed on the London amateur scene. Many of our audience are surprised to find that the orchestra is not fully professional.

Players coming to the orchestra generally find our rehearsals demanding but extremely satisfying. Attention to detail, musical structure and phrasing are all constant features of the CCO's rehearsals - players who are used to simply playing through pieces until they come right will find this approach refreshing and challenging.

Sectional rehearsals are run during each rehearsal series to tackle ensemble issues as well as to coach players on the more technically demanding aspects of the repertoire. Sectionals normally take place on the morning of the all day Sunday rehearsal, and the pieces are drawn together with a tutti rehearsal period in the afternoon.

The string section is re-seated for each concert. Section principals are constant.  The CCO doesn't have full time first and second violins. Players will be placed in both sections.

We also do not seat hierarchically. In all of the string sections, it is as important to have strong back desks as strong front desks, and a backbone of strong players throughout all sections. Overall, this improves the playing strength of the orchestra.

The orchestra also organises meals and social events on an occasional basis.