New term starts Thursday 19 April 2018

The new term starts soon – Thursday 19 April. We’ve been getting music ready. As usual, it’ll be a variety of old and modern, fast and slow, with different musical challenges in the different pieces.

We already have a few new players coming for the first time this term, so if anyone wants to give the orchestra a try, you wouldn’t be the only newcomer! You can come for two weeks’ free trial before you decide whether it’s a good fit for you. There’s no minimum standard – if you’re a complete beginner, you can start off with easy notes and learn as you go. You’d be learning just by sitting in, even if you didn’t play much at first.

This term, it’s £60 for the term, or £63 if you’d like tea or coffee at the half-time break. If you’re keen but the money would be a stretch for you, please say so, and we’d keep that info confidential.

We’re at Padworth Village Hall for the rehearsals, same as last term. (Click that link for travel info.)

Do get in touch if you think you might be interested! and ask any questions not answered here! We’re a friendly bunch 🙂

Pic of violin, plus text: Da Capo / Adult learners' orchestra / Beginners welcome! / West Berkshire, England / Thursday evenings

A new addition to the web site

The end of term “soirée”, where we play through the pieces we’ve been learning during the term, usually also includes some solos or chamber music. (Only from people who want to!)

Occasionally it’s also included a song or a poem.

Very occasionally, it’s included a poem or song written by someone in the orchestra about being in the orchestra!

New to the web site, we can now reveal two of these wonderful items of creativity: Two poems in celebration of the orchestra 🙂

New term September 2017

The web site has been quiet, but the orchestra is still thriving!

The end-of-term Soirée is likely to be Thursday 7 December 2017.  If lots of orchestra people can’t do that date, it may yet move to the following week.

The Soirée is where we play our music to “friendly eavesdroppers” (mostly friends and family).  We call it a Soirée because a concert sounds more formal and scary!

If you’re thinking you might like to join the orchestra, coming along to the Soirée is a great way to get a little sample of what we’ve been up to, and have a chat.  If you’d like to come along and listen, it’s free.  Please get in touch first and let us know, as space is limited.

Whether or not you’re free to come to the Soirée this term, you’re always welcome to get in touch for more information.

Summer Soirée soon – a good time to join or enquire…

The end of our 21st year is approaching, with our Summer Soirée from 7.30-9.30 on Thursday July 7th in Thatcham (hall booked from 6.30). We call it a Soirée because a concert sounds more formal and scary!

If you’re thinking of joining the orchestra, now is a great time to get in touch, especially if you happen to be free on the evening of July 7th. You’d be very welcome to join our audience of “Friendly Eavesdroppers” to hear what the orchestra has been working on this term.

It’s free to come along and listen at the Soirée. Space is limited, so you need to make contact beforehand if you would like to come.

There are pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Gershwin, K. C. Moore, Thomas Tomkins and Samuel Sebastian Wesley. That sounds a lot, but there’s nothing very long.

The rest of the evening’s programme consists of solos and chamber music items from current and ex-members of Da Capo and a few additional visiting performers. In the middle we have an interval with free refreshments, about 15 to 20 minutes. There’s plenty of opportunity to chat to the players if you’d like to – either during the interval break, or before or after the music.

The week after the Soirée, we have one more “winding down” evening, before we start our summer break. The orchestra more or less follows the West Berkshire school terms and half term holidays.

Whether or not you’re free to visit on the 7th, you’re welcome to get in touch for more information. Players enrol for one term at a time, and the autumn term will start on September 15th. I hope to know by the beginning of September who to expect.

Spring term 2015

Happy New Year, everyone!

On 17 December, a group of current and past members of Da Capo had a successful and enjoyable busking outing at Sainsbury’s, Calcot. We raised about £260 for the local Samaritans – enough to keep their group running for two-and-a-half days. Music included familiar carols, Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and a short Christmas piece by Mendelssohn which we had worked on during the term.

Soon we’ll be starting back for the New Year. We have four or five new players this term, bringing the orchestra up to about forty people. As usual, there will be a mixture of music from different periods and different countries. The individual parts vary from easy to more difficult, to match what different people have learnt so far.

If your New Year’s resolution is to “blow the dust off” a musical instrument, do get in touch for a chat (via phone or email) to find out if the orchestra is the right thing for you. There’s no minimum standard – you’re welcome as soon as you’re brave enough! We include simple practices of clapping rhythms, or playing a rhythm on one note, so most people manage to join in a little bit even at their first rehearsal.

Da Capo making a temporary move

For the next two terms, Autumn 2014 (starting on September 18th) and Spring 2015, Da Capo will meet at Woolhampton Village Hall.

Network Rail is closing the railway bridge in Padworth Lane for 6 months, right over the winter. That cuts off the best route for almost all of us to our regular venue, Padworth Village Hall. The alternative is quite a long diversion over narrow, bendy, unlit country roads. 🙁 We were very lucky to be able to find an alternative on our regular Thursday evenings, a couple of miles further West along the A4.