We are a friendly amateur community orchestra whose players come from all walks of life and who have a wide-range of musical experience. We have a nucleus of experienced players, but we are always keen to welcome new players, of all ages and abilities, who would like to join us to make music. We emphasise the fun and enjoyment of making music, and so do not require minimum grade levels or auditions for new members. Enthusiam is the prime qualification for entry. We rehearse weekly in term time and give several concerts a year, the proceeds of which go to local or national charities.
Don't be nervous about taking that first step to joining us as we are sure that once you have played a few times you will look forward to each rehearsal and wonder why you didn't join sooner. The following quote sums us and our members up perfectly ..... “Study after study has shown that active arts participation, at whatever level of incompetence, relieves work and domestic anxieties, stimulates the mind, builds community spirit, and friendship circles, and increases feelings of self-fulfilment and purpose”. Richard Morrison, music critic of 'The Times'
All our photo archives can be found on our facebook page albums - unfortunately these are only accessible if you have a facebook account.
We always welcome new members who would like join us, whatever your ability, or orchestral instrument. If you would like to join a group of like-minded, friendly adults for rehearsals on Monday evenings during term time and play in our concerts which take part three to four times a year (usually on a Monday evening) then we would love to see you. We encourage you
to come along for couple of weeks, to see if you enjoy playing in our orchestra, before you pay a subscription. If possible, please let us know the first time you are coming so that we can get out the appropriate music for you.
To encourage you to join here is what we've been up to over the last year (as summed up in our Chairman's Report at the AGM in October 2016):
We have achieved an incredible amount this past year with so many different groups and communities and hopefully have enjoyed and enriched ourselves in the process. We started the year with our joint workshop at Lincoln University and ended it on a meltingly hot night with the children of Branston school. In between we have forged links with Monks Abbey school at our concert for M.A.S.H., given concerts at St.Katherine’s and St.Faith’s and smaller groups played at Branston Christmas Fayre and in the Chapter House concert organised by Rob Steadman for the people suffering in Syria. Groups of you also play together outside of orchestra = this is true community.
The highlight of the year was, of course, our concert in memory of Mary Trevis at St.Faith’s; performing our commissioned work by Rob Steadman to great acclaim. The whole evening was a huge success and it was wonderful to be back at St.Faith’s, working with the new vicar and remembering Mary, who loved our community and friendship.
Of course without your hard work and dedication none of this would happen and I thank all of you. As ever I would particularly like to thank everyone who helps to keep the orchestra running: Helen, Angela, Martin and the rest of the committee, Zia, Jennifer and Pauline. Many thanks also to those who help to organise our concerts: Josie and her husband Tony, Gill and Claire. Most importantly we have to thank Jonathan for his unstinting work, quiet encouragement and for having faith in us!
We are looking forward to another busy year and are particularly excited to be helping Mark Barnes with his final year piece and we wish him all the best.
As ever we would welcome suggestions for music, concerts or any improvements – this is your orchestra. Enjoy!
Any of the following people will be glad to answer your enquiries:
Subscriptions are currently £50 per year payable at the beginning of the year (September) or £17 per term payable at the beginning of each term.
The student rate is £17 per year or £6 per term. For people who are unemployed, the subscriptions are usually waived as long as the circumstances
are made known to the Treasurer.
New players are encouraged to come along for a couple of weeks to see if they enjoy it before deciding to join.
We meet on Monday nights, 7.25pm to 9.00pm, and occasionally up to 9.30pm before a concert when extra practice may be required. See the calendar below for rehearsal and concert dates.
We meet at the Ermine United Reformed Church Hall which is on the corner of Carlton Grove and Sudbrooke Drive, Ermine, Lincoln LN2 2EF
|11th September 2017 -||Autumn term rehearsals begin 7.25pm|
|17th September -||Joint workshop with the Isle of Axholme Orchestra at Nettleham Village Hall. 10 - 4 pm. Cost £4. Fun day - all welcome, especially anyone wanting to get back into playing.|
|15th November (Wednesday) -||Rehearsal at St Katherine's Church|
|22nd November (Wednesday)-||Rehearsal at St Katherine's Church|
|27th November -||Concert at St Katherine's Church|
From September we are playing the following pieces:
Bizet - L'Arlesienne. Suite No. 1.
Dubois - Fantaisie triomphale.
Boellmann - Fantaisie dialoguee
Waltzing Forever - in honour of Camille Claudel. Lyn Beardsall. Arranged by Ella Goodman.
The YouTube and Soundcloud links, to the right, are performances by other orchestras and are given for members to familiarise themselves with the music, or to play along to.
Slow Practice MusicThe recordings below have been slowed down (with loss of quality), for those of us who need a slightly more manageable practice speed!
Practice music - slow - Mozart - Rondeau from Flute Quartet in D - sound quality not great :-(
Practice music - very slow - Mozart - Rondeau from Flute Quartet in D - sound quality poor :-(
A selection from our music library
Badelt - music from 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' Arr. Ted Rickets
Practice Music - Badlet (Arr. Ricketts), Pirates of the Caribbean medley, (8 seconds lead-in)
Practice mark 21 - 50 secs. Practice mark 75 - 2:35. Practice mark 96 - 3:14. Practice mark 167 - 4:28.
Beethoven - Musikzu Goethe's Trauerspiel "Egmont"
Beethoven - Hymn To Joy(from Symphony No. 9)
Beethoven - First movement - 5th Symphony
Practice music - Beethoven 5th Symphony, 1st movement(5 seconds lead-in). First repeat starts at 2:22. Tempo 1 starts at 7:45
Blake/Parry - Jerusalem
Coates - The Dambusters' March Arr. David Andrew
Dvorak - Symphonic Sonatina
Elgar - Nimrod, from variations on an Original Theme Op. 36 (Goodmusic concert Classic No 79)
Gershwin - Summertime
Gilkyson – The Bare Necessities from Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book
Grieg - Anitra's Dance
Handel - Suite from "Music for the Royal Fireworks" - 1. La Rejouissance 2.La Paix 3. Bouree 4. Menuets I and II
Track list - 7:49 - 9:26 Bourree, 9:26 - 12:18 La Paix, 12:18 - 14:16 La Rejouissance, 14:16 - 17:18 Minuet and Trio
Handel - Sarabande and 2 Variations
Handel - Water Music Suite No. 1
Haslehurst - Last of the Summer Wine theme
Hayden - Divertimento - St Anthony Choral Menuetto Rondo
Jubilee Clips Medley
Ketelbey - In the Mystic Land of Egypt
Norman - The James Bond Theme
Handel - Music For The Royal Fireworks
Lloyd Webber - Selections from The Phantom of the Opera. Arr. Calvin Cluser
Lloyd Webber - first page of Selections from The Phantom of the Opera - second violins
Mozart - Ave Verum Corpus
Mozart - Concerto in G for Violin and Orchestra
Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Mozart - The Magic Flute Overture
Mozart - The Magic Flute Overture (8 seconds lead-in)
Practice mark A, Allegro starts at 2:14. Practice mark H, 2nd Adagio starts at 4:57. Practice mark J, 2nd Allegro starts at 5:30
Mozart - The Marriage Of Figaro
Mozart - The Shepherd King Overture (Il re pastore)
Mussorgsky - The Great Gate of Kiev
Purcell - Rondeau from Abdelazer Arr. Nigel Wicken
Quilter A Children’s Overture – founded on Nursery Rhymes (Practice mark R starts at 9:20)
Rogers and Hammerstein - The King and I (Selection)
Rodgers and Hammerstein - You'll Never Walk Alone
Rossini - Barber of Seville Overture
Schubert - Symphony No. 4 "Tragic" in C Minor. Andante in A flat major (Andante starts at 11:50)
Schubert - Symphony No. 4 in C Minor. Menuetto, Allegro vivace and Trio
Schubert - Symphony in B Minor (Unfinished) Second Movement starts at 14:45
Schubert - Symphony in B Minor (Unfinished) - 1st Movement
2nd Movement - this movement doesn't need slowing down, but this link takes you straight to the start of the "Andante con moto"
Second violins - the syncopated section starts at 17:34 and ends at 18:56
Stamitz - Rococo Symphony
Steadman - Dance of the Watchers. This piece was specially commissioned by Lincoln Concert Orchestra in memory of Mary Trevis and was premiered at our concert on the 20th June 2016.
Traditional - English Country Gardens
Traditional - Scarborough Fair
Vaughan Williams - English Folk Songs Suite. Nos 1 - 3.Folksongs From Somerset (Suite no. 3)
Wagner - Trauersinfonie. Arr. Ame Dich.
Warlock - Basse-Danse from Capriol Suite
Williams - Highlights from Harry Potter Arr. Michael Story
Zimmer - Dark Knight Rises from Batman (4 seconds lead-in)
If you like to play along to the recorded music, but want to practice at a slower speed than the recording then try the free
Hannah Borrill (leader)
Absolutely no grade exams are needed. The equivalent of about grade three standard as a minimum would be helpful, and enthusiasm is essential. Just come along and have a go.
There are no auditions for this Orchestra. If you would like to talk to someone about joining, or would like advice about what level you are at, please get in touch with Jonathan Rider, our Musical Director, whose details you will find at
We play an enormously wide variety of music, nearly all with tunes that everybody knows, even though the names and composers of the pieces may be elusive. You can see a list of our current music and some of our music library in the
Anybody that can play a musical instrument to about grade three standard or above. The Orchestra is a very good place for late beginners and for people returning to their music after a break of several years. We also get students from Lincoln University and the Colleges around who want to keep their music going if they have been doing it at school but are not actually studying music now.
We would be delighted to play a concert to help raise funds for your charity. If you have a venue, such as a church, church hall or school hall, we will play the music.
Please contact our Musical Director or Chairman at Contacts if you would like to take this further.
We do not charge a fee for giving a concert, but we do appreciate a contribution towards the cost of new music and running expenses – we suggest £15 to £20, or 10% of takings if less than £150.
Please contact our Musical Director or Chairman at Contacts if you would like to take this further.
Subscriptions are currently £50 per year payable at the beginning of the year (September) or £17 per term payable at the beginning of each term. The student rate is £17 per year or £6 per term. For people who are unemployed, the subscriptions are usually waived as long as the circumstances are made known to the Treasurer.
New players are encouraged to come along for a couple of weeks to see if they enjoy it before deciding to join. Non-members are not allowed to take music home for practice.
We meet at the Ermine United Reformed Church Hall on the corner of Carlton Grove and Sudbrooke Drive, Ermine Lincoln LN2 2EF
We meet on Monday nights, 7.25pm to 9.00pm, and sometimes up to 9.30pm before a concert when extra practice is required.
Currently there are 44 members ranging in age from students to seniors, and from all walks of life.
The Lincoln Concert Orchestra has been running for nearly seventy years, having been founded in the 1940s by John Bonner, a lay vicar in the Cathedral Choir. John Bonner was born in Manchester on 31st May 1912 to working class parents. From an early age he possesed an outstanding singing voice and at the age of ten became a member of Manchester cathedral choir. Following recordings of the choir made by the BBC he was described as having the best treble voice in England and went on to make several recordings as a boy soprano for Columbia records before his voice finally broke at the age of 17.
In 1935 John took up the position of bass lay vicar, (adult chorister), at Salisbury cathedral, moving two years later to a similar position at Lincoln cathedral. During the pre-war years at Lincoln he became musical director of Gainsborough Amateur Operatic Society, Lincoln Thespians, and Clayton-Babcock Operatic Society. Around this time musical arrangements of two of his earlier recordings, Somewhere a Voice is Calling and Angels Guard Thee, were composed for John to dubb his baritone voice onto his original soprano sound track, becoming the first singer to do so.
Following the outbreak of war John organised a number charity concerts, notably at the Savoy Cinema in March and November 1941 and at the Theatre Royal in January 1942. In 1943 John joined the RAF seeing service in Egypt, India, and Burma where he estimates he travelled about 100,000 miles entertaining the troops for ENSA and became a member of Ralph Reader's gang show. After finishing touring John was stationed in Delhi in charge of the music section for South East Asia Command supplying the whole command with musical instruments, music and gramophone records. Whilst there he conducted the Command Light Orchestra as well as forming his own septet and broadcasting on All-India-Radio. He also conducted a 20 piece orchestra when John Geilgud paid a visit to Delhi with his company performing 'Hamlet' and 'Blithe Spirit', with the orchestra providing the incidental music.
On being demobilised in November 1946 John returned to Lincoln and added to his musical activities by taking charge of the Lincoln Orpheus Male Voice Choir. In October 1947 he was appointed conductor of Lincoln Co-operative Choir and in November, at his suggestion, added a light orchestra to form the Lincoln Co-operative Choral Association and Orchestral Society. Following their first public performances of the operetta 'Tom Jones' in April 1948, John and the orchestra resigned following disagreements with the Lincoln Co-operative Society Education Committee. One month later on 16th May 1948 the newly formed John Bonner Concert Orchestra gave their first concert in Boultham Park, Lincoln, with proceeds in aid of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Families Association. (S.S.A.F.A). The John Bonner Concert Orchestra went on over the next couple of years to become well known, performing many concerts for good causes throughout Lincolnshire.
John married and moved to Sheffield in 1950 where he and his wife, Mabel, ran a newsagents shop, first in Tinsley and then Totley Rise, until his retirement around 1972. John became a leading light in the Totley Operatic and Dramatic Society and later became a member of Croft House Operatic Society and was appointed musical director of Sheffield Teachers Operatic Society from 1954 to 1978. John died in February 1979, aged sixty six. After his death the chaiman of Sheffield Teachers Operatic Society wrote, “Infectious exuberance, ebullience and enthusiasm were three of the outward facets of John's character. Beneath these facets, and combined with them, lay a deep and wide understanding and practical appreciation of music and drama, which he applied to the furtherence of the Amateur Operatic and Dramatic world. His training as a boy and adult chorister in Manchester and Lincoln together with his wartime direction of an orchestra in India could well have fitted John for a successful, professional, career but he concentrated on the amateurs of this world for whom he had the greatest devotion”.
Following John’s departure to Sheffield the John Bonner Concert Orchestra was renamed as Lincoln Concert Orchestra and continues to play, as John intended, for the benefit of deserving causes.
Martin Kerridge, a current member of the orchestra, has spent many hours researching John Bonner (our founder) with assistance from John Bonner’s nephew, Peter Ward and Stephen Beet, author of “The Better Land – In search of the Lost Boy Sopranos”. He has found out about the Orchestra’s history through talking to past members and their families and by researching the archives of the Lincolnshire Echo. What follows is a summary of his research and then an appendix showing images of the actual articles in the newspapers.
Formation of the OrchestraOn 2nd October, 1947 the Lincolnshire Echo newspaper reported that “at the suggestion Mr John Bonner, the Education Committee of the Lincoln Co-operative Society is considering the formation of a light orchestra” and then on Friday November 21st 1947 “The Gossiper” column in the Lincolnshire Echo announced the formation of the Lincoln Co-operative Orchestra “to perform in conjunction with the Choral Association of the Society. In addition to giving independent orchestral concerts, it will meet the need for performances of choral works of the lighter variety in the city. The orchestra will be directed by John Bonner, Lincoln Cathedral lay vicar …Rehearsals for the first concert performance of "Tom Jones" by Edward German, which it is hoped will be given in February or March, will begin next week.”
The first performance of the Cooperative Orchestral Society was announced on 20th March 1948 in the public announcements section of the Echo and the review on the 7th April said “… Mr John Bonner who conducted, must have felt well rewarded by the obvious delight of the audience for the hard work he had put into the preparations and it is only to be regretted that the hall was not better filled. The performance which was arranged by the Lincoln Cooperative Society Education Committee will be repeated tonight.”
However, the Lincoln Co-operative Orchestra lasted for only 4 months as the front-page headlines in the paper on the 13th April announced the resignation of Mr Bonner and the orchestra: “Refusal by Lincoln co-operative society education committee to permit the national anthem to be played at last week's performances of "tom jones", following other differences, has led to the resignation of Mr. John Bonner, the society's conductor, and his orchestra of twenty instrumentalists. “
The orchestra was reborn soon after, as on the 14th May 1948 in the “Public Announcements” section of The Echo, the Orchestra advertises a concert under the new name of John Bonner and His Concert Orchestra and by July 1949 it becomes The John Bonner Concert Orchestra. From then until July 1950 adverts and reviews of their concerts appear in the Lincolnshire Echo. By this time John has moved away to Sheffield, but must have returned for concerts.
We can find no further mention of either the John Bonner Concert Orchestra or The Lincoln Concert Orchestra beyond July 1950 as there are no online newspaper archives for us to search. We believe the orchestra changed its name to the Lincoln Concert Orchestra in 1951.
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