The Monmouth Concert Orchestra
The MCO is a young orchestra started Spring 2007 and yet already has a membership of 50 plus players. It meets every two weeks on Friday night from 7.00 to 9.15 pm and has a regular attendance of some 35 plus musicians. The orchestra and its musical director bring orchestral and ensemble playing to a wide cross section of musicians providing musical instruction and encouragement at a pace suited to the level of players within the group.
As well as the main spring concert the orchestra regularly performs for charity and at the summer Raglan Music Festival.
In Spring of 2007 the Friends of the North Monmouthshire Music Centre and Gwent Music Support Service joined forces to launched an enterprise to see if the Monmouthshire Community could support an adult orchestra.
After an enthusiastic response the Monmouth Concert Orchestra was launched in the Summer of 2007 with Gwent Music Services providing the musical director; initially Mr Alun Williams who then handed over to the very capable Mr David Davies. Gwent Music Support Services also provided the percussion and basic musical equipment with Monmouth Leisure Centre providing the rehearsal facilities.
The orchestra is intended to provide a musical venue to all those practicing and lapsed adult musicians who have no other opportunity to play in a group. The orchestra is open to everyone but there are two main groups that seem to have been attracted to the group: a small number of players who form the principles who play at grade 7 to 8+, the bulk of the orchestra who have or are playing at around grade 5 to 6 but may never have played in an orchestra.
The orchestra usually meets once every two weeks on a Friday night at 7pm in Monmouth for a two hour rehearsal which is broken up by a 15 minute tea break.