The Roding Players Orchestra
The Orchestra was formed in 1991 by two local schoolteachers (Paul Servis and Tim Litchfield) who spotted a gap in the community for amateur musicians of differing levels of ability to come together to make music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, free from the pressure to be perfect that exists in many other groups. The idea was that there would be no daunting entrance auditions, with membership being open to anyone who can play a musical instrument, read music to a reasonable level and is willing to learn. Over time, the Orchestra has remained true to this founding principle and has provided people of all ages with somewhere to develop their skills and make the most of the talent they have, being especially popular with people who played at school but then gave up while they got jobs and raised a family before returning to music as a hobby in later life, and those whose busy working lives preclude more serious investment in time for music. As a result, the Orchestra is a happy blend where stronger players mix with others of lesser ability, where everyone helps each other and no-one is made to feel inadequate or out of their depth.
The Orchestra is fortunate to have a vast library of classical music and light music from the first half of the twentieth century, much of which was acquired from a number of orchestras that used Wanstead House as a rehearsal facility over the years but that have since gone to the wall. The Orchestra’s repertoire changes every school term (Autumn, Spring and Summer) leading to a concert at the end of each term. Rehearsals are held weekly during school term time at Roding Valley High School in Loughton. Having tried several other concert venues in Loughton and Woodford, the Orchestra has currently settled into the wonderful facility that is St. Mary’s Church, Loughton High Road for the performance of its three concerts each year.
The Orchestra has been involved in several external projects over the years, including a joint concert with a visiting wind band from the Netherlands, regular Christmas concerts in collaboration with a local primary school choir, and supporting local traders by playing carols in Loughton High Road at Christmas time. If anyone reading this in the Loughton area thinks that the Orchestra might be able to assist them by publicising or taking part in their organisation’s event, please do get in touch [via this website].