Sept 2019
Quiz Night - postponed!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Quiz Night on 20th September has been postponed. We hope to reschedule it later in the year.

July 2019
News Flash! - Parking Charge Notices

It has come to our attention that there has been a glitch in the parking arrangements with Morrison’s on the day of our last concert on Saturday 16th July. Many of our audience and players have been issued with parking notices from euro car parks. If this has happened to you please email Lynda at with your car registration and the Ref number starting with 8888, listed at the top of your letter.
We apologise for any inconvenience and distress this has caused. Please rest assured that we are working to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.

June 2019
A Unique Opportunity

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Pelly members recently enjoyed the unique opportunity to work with a celebrated virtuoso pianist, the London-based Australian Piers Lane.
The orchestra rehearsed Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto with Piers on this special occasion - an effort that will contribute to high profile concerts the other side of the world.
The enviable “gig” came about after Piers was invited to perform the Beethoven this coming November for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s farewell concerts to Sir Andrew Davies, who is retiring as its chief conductor after seven seasons.
In his 40-year career, Piers has performed over 100 different concertos. But while these include Beethoven 2, 3, 4, 5 he has, incredibly, never learned Beethoven 1. So Piers set about finding an amateur ensemble willing to help out in the initial learning phase. The Pelly jumped at the opportunity. Amateur orchestras rarely get the chance to program a piano concerto due to the huge cost of hiring and transporting a concert grand, never mind working with a soloist of world renown.
The rehearsal venue moved to the Salesian College for the occasion, because the Pelly’s usual rehearsal hall has no piano. It can safely be said that the older Steinway in the McGuiness Music School has never been subjected to such a work-out!
On the night, Pelly players had to quickly adapt to the seasoned professional’s way of working – which meant rehearsing whole movements at tempo, with little of it broken up into bite-size chunks! Initial nervousness was soon eclipsed by the distinguished visitor’s friendly and encouraging manner. As the orchestra relaxed into the evening, there was time to glance up and watch Piers in action, and to marvel at the soloist’s astonishing sight-reading facility.
There was another unexpected “first” when Piers produced a hand-written manuscript of a cadenza composed by his father Alan Lane, former director of studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. It had been hidden away in his bookshelves for decades before Piers had the opportunity to play it.
This was not all. Piers is also, for the first time, playing the “Warsaw Concerto” with the Royal Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall, Eastbourne and Brighton in October, so parts were hastily traced for a read-through of this fiendish piece as well.
Tom Horn, the Pelly’s regular conductor, had been especially keen for the Pelly to grasp this opportunity, but sadly was unable to participate due to the recent arrival of his baby son. Ed Hodgson stood in on the night and was complimented by Piers for his sterling work.
It was certainly a different experience for the Pelly – and maybe not a once-in-a-lifetime experience after all. In his thank-you note to the committee, Piers said he would be delighted to return the favour if there is anything the Pelly wishes to run-through in the future.
More photos of this exciting event

January 2019
Fizz and Pop

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Happy New Year! to our Patrons, Friends and audience members.

Our new year concert went off with a Fizz, Pop and lots bangs on Saturday evening. After a short break over the Festive period, the orchestra took their seats for the final rehearsal on Saturday afternoon with our percussion section and extra players.

The brass, horn and percussion sections opened to a sell out audience, with a rousing performance of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Throughout the evening the orchestra played ‘New Year’ favourites - Strauss’ Radetsky March and a selection of waltzes - interspersed with music from Musicals, Louis Armstrong and Handel’s Royal Fireworks to name but a few. The full programme can be found here. The climax of the evening was Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture complete with audience participation adding to the cannon effects. A fun and exhilarating evening was had by audience and orchestra alike.

October 2018
Pelly on the Move

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On Saturday night it was Chocks Away, All Aboard and Mind the Gangplank when the Pelly Concert Orchestra took its audience on a whistle stop tour by train, plane, ship, horse, car and motorbike in its “Pelly on the Move” concert. Musical Director, Tom Horn, once again engaged the audience with anecdotes and little known facts about the pieces.
It was an evening of rousing music interspersed with calm, provoking feelings from nostalgia and reflection to sing along feel good fun. Playing to a near capacity audience, and more than a match for Strictly Come Dancing, the orchestra opened the evening with a lively rendition of the theme from the film “633 Squadron”. Closely followed by Puffin’ Billy, the theme to Uncle Mac’s Children’s Favourites, the orchestra then set sail aboard the Sea Hawk, which gave the brass sections the chance to show off their expertise, which indeed they did. A selection from the film “Titanic” provided both excitement and romance and Galloping Home from the TV series “Black Beauty” took the audience with the wind in their hair to the wilds of Hertfordshire. Taking to the skies again, the Flower Duet from Lakme and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines provided a contrast of music styles from peaceful calm to rip roaring fun. Moving on to the Waltz from “Murder on the Orient Express” the orchestra once again demonstrated its extraordinary ability to swap from one mood and style to another with effortless ease. The first half concluded with “The Great Escape”, after which the audience were given the chance to get their breath back during the interval before the journey continued.
The second half began with another nostalgia trip, this time aboard the Coronation Scot, followed by Carmen Suite No 1, the somewhat loose connection to modes of transport being its title. The contrast in mood throughout the movements highlighted the sensitive and seductive playing by the string sections and the beautiful, haunting melodies in the woodwind. The Devil’s Galop, theme to “Dick Barton Special Agent”, again took the audience down Memory Lane, and Gonna Fly Now and Horse and Buggy transported them towards the climax of the evening, the Finale of Dvorak’s Symphony No 9 “From the New World”, inspired it is said, by his train journey across the American Prairies. The orchestra rose to the challenge of this demanding classical work with style and panache and the audience received it with enthusiastic applause.
Just when you thought the evening could not get any better, the orchestra closed the concert with a rousing performance of The Dam Busters March, a fitting tribute to the RAF, in the 100
th anniversary year of its formation.
The Pelly Concert Orchestra’s 2018/19 season has got off to a flying start with an evening to remember for a long time to come.

October 2018
Music on a Saturday afternoon

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As part of the Fleet Arts Festival a string quartet of Orchestra members played in Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet. Our new leader Vanessa Gynn, Judy Dudley, Pippa Cuckson and Lynda Trice played a variety of numbers ranging from classical favourites to a selection of Beatles songs, their beautiful, melodious string sounds delighting passersby.

If you missed this or you would like to hear them again (this time as part of the full Pelly Concert Orchestra), our next concert is on Saturday 27th October when we play a travel inspired programme, Pelly on the move.
There will be music from Titanic, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2, Black Beauty, Rocky (Come Fly with Me), Dambusters March and 633 Squadron to name but a few. You can get ticket information here.

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July 2018
Summer Holiday

It was with sadness that we have had to say goodbye to David Wallace our leader of five years as he moves onto pastures new. He has left us with lovely memories, topped at this concert with a beautiful rendition of Svendsen’s Romanze for solo violin and orchestra. You could have heard a pin drop as the exquisite musical lines soared around the auditorium - truly special!

Unfortunately it was an evening of goodbyes, as Katy (2nd oboe and cor anglais) and Chris Preddy (trumpet) are also moving on. Katy has been with the orchestra for 25 years and we wish her well with her impending house move. Best wishes also to Chris as he continues his PhD studies.

On this sizzling hot evening, our audience were taken an a grand musical tour around Europe and beyond. We visited Spain with Chris on trumpet and a stunning performance of La Virgen de la Macarena (The Bull Fighter’s Song) as well as Albeniz’s sultry Sevilla and flamenco inspired Asturias.

The evening concluded with a stirring performance of the final movement of Respighi’s Pines of Rome; the orchestra very gradually building together to a tumultuous conclusion representing a triumphant legion massing and advancing towards the City.

With ‘goodbyes’ come ‘hellos’. We look forward to introducing Vanessa Russell on 27th October in her first concert as our new leader.

In the meantime, we thank all our Patrons, Friends and audience for your support over the past season, wish you happy summer holidays and look forward to seeing you again in October.

April 2018
Salute to the Cinema

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You could have been forgiven to think that you had stumbled into a Summer Concert on this balmy April evening when we were treated to a sparking array of music from the Big Screen.

Original music from Salute to the Cinema medley, Cinema Paradiso, themes from Westerns and The Lion King to the perennial favourite Lord of the Rings was combined with ‘classical’ repertoire which has been used to great effect in film.

The string section showed great sensitivity in their playing of Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (from the Godfather Part III) and excerpts from The Lion King - beautiful!

To add to this. we were treated to superb soloists as well - Lynda Trice on cello playing The Swan from Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals (Flowers in the Attic) and Andrew Norris on clarinet with Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (Out of Africa/The King’s Speech).

February 2018
Family Concert

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It was fantastic to have so many come to join Pirate Tom (our conductor) on a journey through an array of music including Pirates of the Caribbean, Bob the Builder, Carnival of the Animals, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars. The children took the opportunity to get close to the orchestra while they were playing to hear and see what was going on. There was also opportunity to sing in a round, with different sections of the orchestra. It was a great informal concert immensely enjoyed by audience and orchestra alike. See what some of our audience said here.

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December 2017
Christmas Concert

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Our Christmas concert had a Pantomime theme - taking music from many well known and loved fables and stories - Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the seven Dwarfs, The Three Bears and Sleeping Beauty alongside festive favourites.

It was lovely to welcome William Godfree back for this concert. He last joined us eleven years ago to narrate his setting of Roald Dahl’s version of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp. It certainly had not lost any of it’s magic or humour as we were treated to a fantastical adventure of a greedy Scotsman who tricked Aladdin into retrieving the magic lamp from a cave only to have the tables turned on him. When Aladdin found the lamp, and thus the genie, his wish was that he too became a genie. The story goes that this happened over 500 years ago and that Aladdin is still around, helping to create geniuses - among them Shakespeare and Mozart! Who knows who he will help next!?

October 2017
Thank you!

A huge THANK YOU to Waitrose, Frimley and all our supporters as we have received a cheque for £246 from the Community Matters scheme. Part of this sum has been allocated for the purchase of music - a selection from Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken which we will play in our ‘Pelly Goes to the Panto’ concert in December and our ‘Children’s Concert’ in February 2018.

September 2017
Support Pelly Concert Orchestra in Waitrose, Frimley

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Pelly Concert Orchestra has been selected as one of the ‘Community Matters’ nominated charities during the month of September in Waitrose, Frimley.

Each of the nominated charities will get a proportion of £1000, the actual amount depending on how votes each gets.

Every time you shop in Waitrose, Frimley, please make sure you get your little green token and vote for PELLY CONCERT ORCHESTRA.

It doesn’t matter how much you spend, you can still get a token.

Remember to get your token!

Thank you for your support :-)
August 2017
50th Birthday Celebrations

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Our 50th Birthday celebrations were full of fizz and fun! The wonderful Elisabeth Meister added sentiment with her poignant rendition of Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro and sophistication with Gershwin’s Summertime. Rule Britannia (the conclusion of Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs} sparkled and the audience were brought to their feet as she joined with them for Parry’s Jerusalem.

Throughout the concert, the audience was taken on a journey with music from around the British Isles. From the Merry Wives of Windsor, to the Jubilee Dances by Welsh composer William Mathias, a Lament for Strings by Aloys Fleishmann, concluding the first half with Malcolm Arnold’s quirky Four Scottish Dances.

An air of frivolity pervaded in the second half, with Mancini’s Pennywhistle Jig and Variations on Happy Birthday arranged by Peter Lawson. The famous ditty was cleverly interwoven within an array of musical styles including a Bavarian Cuckoo Clock, a Latin-American Salsa, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Waltzing Matilda!

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May 2017
Pelly Celebrates 50 years of Music Making
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Rehearsals are well under way for our celebratory Prom Concert on 8th July. We have some great music lined up as well as some surprises.
We are delighted to announce that the Internationally acclaimed soprano Elisabeth Meister will be joining us for our festivities. You can find out more about her here.

Tickets are already being snapped up for the forth-coming concert. Be sure to get yours in plenty of time!

Don’t forget our Quiz Night on 26th May - details below.

March 2017
And All That Jazz...

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Gershwin’s toe tapping Cuban Overture, a sultry rendition of Summertime and a breathtaking performance Rhapsody in Blue formed part of a thoroughly enjoyable jazz-inspired concert on 25th March. Having Can Arisoy as our piano soloist was our first collaboration with the Yehudi Menuhin School. This accomplished, confident and charming young man brought the notes alive with sparkling dexterity, wowing a sell-out audience with his virtuosity to conclude the first half of this evening’s concert.

Leroy Anderson was there with his Syncopated Clock and Blue Tango alongside rip-roaring Medleys from 1920s, Chicago and Porgy and Bess with Henry Mancini’s music, Mancini Magic wrapping up proceedings.

Want to guarantee a front row seat for our next concert on 8th July? Support us by becoming a Patron, details here!

February 2017
Quiz Night
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We have a Quiz Night planned for Friday 26th May.

It will be hosted by Quiz Masters Rolly and Lynda Trice.

Maximum 6 people in a team, £5 per team member.

Book your table on 0345 269 4614 or email

Some nibbles will be supplies but please bring your own snacks, drinks and glasses.

Samuel Cody Specialist Sports College, GU14 8SN

7.30pm start.

See you there!

January 2017
New Year Concert

We presented our New Year Concert on Saturday 21st January to a packed concert hall.

The party got started with Strauss’ Overture to Die Fladermaus and things were definitely warmed up by the time the Skaters emerged for Waldeufel’s Waltz which was much in keeping with the freezing temperatures outside. The audience took little encouragement to join in, in traditional style with another Strauss favourite, his Radetzsky March. The first half concluded with a visit to Spain with Bizet’s Carmen Suite No.2.

The party atmosphere resumed after the interval with Strauss’ Tritsch Tratsch Polka, followed by a beautiful rendition of the Fantasy from Ladies in Lavender, played by David Wallace.
From the sublime to … Tchaikovsky meets the Beatles - The Beatlecracker Suite. A slightly surreal but very clever and quirky combination of The Nutcracker and songs from the Fab Four!

Carnival in Paris - a delightful offering by the Norwegian composer Svendsen - brought the evening to a suitable climax of gaiety, raucousness and frivolity before the evening concluded with the effervescent Thunder and Lightning Polka by Strauss.

Both audience and orchestra left with the feeling that the New Year had definitely been heralded in an appropriate manner.

December 2016
Pelly Orchestra spreads Christmas Cheer

On Saturday 17th December, we presented a concert of Christmas favourites including Sleigh Ride, Christmas Festival, Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, Walking in the Air and traditional carols. The concert was recorded and we asked if Frimley Park Hospital would like to play it on their radio station during the Christmas period. We were delighted to learn that it was aired at the prime time of 2pm on Christmas Day! We hope that it helped to raise the spirits of some of those in hospital during the Festive Season. We also hope to be able to continue our share music making in this way in the future.

August 2016
‘Musical Allsorts’ Concert a great success!

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Saturday 13th August finally arrived. The concert was a bit of a departure from our usual orchestra format as we had put together two wind quintets, a flute duo, viola and clarinet duo, piano solo, bassoon quartet, concluding with a wind dectet. It was a beautiful balmy summer evening with an enthusiastic and appreciative audience as we performed a wide variety of musical styles from a Sound of Music Medley to Pieces for clarinet and viola by Max Bruch. Our quartet of bassoons proved to be a real treat, playing Thompsons Rag and Funeral March of a Marionette by Gounod within their programme. This, mixed with The Entertainer, Sea Shanties, Tea for Two on piano (alla Mike Thomson) and much more besides provided a most enjoyable evening for all concerned.

Flutes: Elaine Herbert & Barbara Sykes
Oboes: Jane Cleaver & Katy Warren
Clarinets: Andrew Norris & Nathan Winters
Bassoons: Zoe Berry, Paula Burton, Karen Carter & Andrew Norris
Horns: Tim Jones & Roger Sowter
Viola: Lizzie Winters
Piano: Mike Thomson

June 2016
A date for your diary

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We have been invited to help celebrate the 175th anniversary of Christ Church, Crookham.
The orchestra played at their 150th celebrations and this time we will be providing a concert of chamber music performed by members of the orchestra.
It promises to be a fun and interesting programme. Please come along and join us.

June 2016

Come and join us for our final orchestral concert of the season on Saturday 18th June.
It will be a musical feast - Picnic with the Pelly!

May 2016

We would like to congratulate Michael McConnell (2nd violin) and his wife Jasmine on the birth of their baby boy William on 24th April.

April 2016
Out of this World

Our concert on 16th April was truly ‘Out of this World’. Our programme ranged from Superman and Batman vying for supremacy to encounters with Dr Who, E.T. and characters from Star Wars. There were lunar references with Debussy’s Clair de Lune and a particularly poignant moment featuring our solo trumpeter Chris Preddy and his rendition of the theme from Apollo 13. Throughout, our Musical Director Tom Horn kept our audience enthralled with his enthusiastic and knowledgeable insights into the music being played.

Come to our next concert and have a Picnic with the Pelly on 18th June - a veritable musical feast!

March 2016
New Chair

Karen Carter has now officially taken over as Chair of the orchestra. Barbara wishes to thank everyone for their help and support throughout her time as Chair but due to increased teaching commitments has had to step down. She continues as Vice-chair and Librarian.

September 2015
2015/16 Season

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Rehearsals have begun for our concert on 24th October concert. We currently have a few vacancies for new players, you are most welcome to come and meet us on a Tuesday evening.

Our String Quartet and Wind Quintet spent a most enjoyable lunchtime on 22nd August serenading our audience in the sunshine at the bandstand, Princes Gardens, Aldershot.
Thanks to all who came to support us.

Members of the Pelly Concert Orchestra (String Quartet and Wind Quintet) playing a wonderful two hour performance at Princes Gardens bandstand today” #Aldershot

July 2015
Orchestra invited to play in Aldershot Bandstand on Saturday 22nd August

The orchestra has been invited to play in the bandstand in Princes Gardens Aldershot. Unfortunately due to the holiday season, many of our members are unavailable. But we have a Pelly Orchestra String Quartet and Wind Quintet who will be serenading the audience in the gardens between 12 - 2pm on Saturday 22nd August. Please come along and support us. It’s free!

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String Quartet
Tony Smith, Judy Dudley, Lynda Trice, Jinny Gribble

Wind Quintet
Tim Jones, Barbara Sykes, Andrew Norris, Katy Warren, Karen Carter

July 2015
Another season draws to a close

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Our concert on 11th July has been hailed a great success. Our VE day inspired programme (see our archive page) drew a large audience and was a fitting end to the season. We are delighted to announce that the retiring collection raised £196.54 towards Help for Heroes.

The orchestra had some photographs taken before and during the concert and you can now ‘Meet the Orchestra’. We hope to see you at our next concert on 24th October.

April 2015
Two Concerts in one day!

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We were delighted to welcome our newly appointed Musical Director Tom Horn to preside over our concerts on 18th April. Our first concert of the day featured a programme to entertain the younger generation. This included Let It Go, from Frozen, He’s a Pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean, a rendition of Bob the Builder (arranged and orchestrated by one of our trumpet players, Tim Stoney), Leroy Anderson’s Typewriter*, with a ‘typist' from the percussion section and cartoon capers with a collection from favourite cartoons.
* If your typewriter keys are 'a little slow’ WD40 works wonders for adding that extra zip!

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Nostalgia was in abundance throughout the evening as we indulged in music from yesteryear. Television and radio themes included The Onedin Line, Inspector Morse and Dr Finlay’s Casebook which sat along side music from film and shows, including Cats, Grease and Robin Hood. The audience was treated as an encore, to Leroy Anderson’s energetic and quirky arrangement of Old MacDonald.

September 2014
Exciting times at the Pelly

The Pelly Orchestra is delighted to introduce Guest Conductors for each of the first two concerts of our 2014/15 Season. On 25th October, Lindsay Ryan will be casting her spell over a concert of musical Fairy Tales, both traditional and new. The concert will have music from Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky), Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Harry Potter (Williams), Snow White (Churchill), Aladdin (Neilsen) and Disney (arr, Dodge).
On 24th January, Tom Horn will present A Pelly Portrait of England, a wonderful collection of music with English connections. The programme will include Banks of Green Willow (Butterworth), Soirées Musicales (Britten), Walk to the Paradise Garden (Delius) and themes from television and radio – The Archers, Thunderbirds, Blackadder and Desert Island Discs!
Both concerts will be in Church on the Heath, Fleet and will start at 7.45pm.

July 2014
Farewell to Chris

This, our final concert of the 2013/14 season, saw us embark on the last part of our journey with Christopher Braime as conductor. It has been a privilege for us as an orchestra to have been involved in the early stages of Chris’ conducting career, and to have seen both him and the orchestra flourish since his appointment as Musical Director in 2007. Throughout his time with us, Chris has led us all through an amazingly wide array of musical experiences, combining familiar music with works not previously explored by the Pelly. He has introduced us to wonderful and inspiring soloists and leaders and supported and guided the orchestra over the years, raising the bar of expectation of both players and audience. Of course, throughout, he has always exhibited his incorrigible sense of optimism and fun. We wish him well for the future.

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