Spires Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO)

The SPO uses a unique 'pro-am' model in which talented amateurs play or sing alongside the professional members, who are responsible for coaching the members of their section. The professional players are selected not only for their musical skills but also for their interest in working with the amateur members.

"It's like having a free violin lesson at every rehearsal"

Amateur players should be at least Grade 8 standard (though you don't have to have taken the examination) and be good sight readers.

SPO regularly performs in Holy Trinity Church, Coventry, a fine mediaeval building with excellent acoustics. The space for the orchestra is limited, so we concentrate mostly on classical and early romantic repertoire that suits a small orchestra. SPO is also Orchestra in Residence at King Henry VIII School Coventry, where it gives joint concerts and assists in training pupils from time to time.

SPO rehearsals are held in a concentrated few days before each concert. We try to schedule them to avoid rehearsals of the main amateur orchestras and choruses in the region, and we have no weekly rehearsal commitments. So you don't have to give up whatever you are already doing; indeed, we hope that you will take back the experience you gain in Spires to your regular ensembles. Members of Spires play in, for example, the Warwickshire Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Worcester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bedworth Symphony, the Beauchamp Sinfonietta, the Leamington Chamber Orchestra, Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, the British Clarinet Ensemble, Oriflamme, and the Heart of England Orchestras.

"It really raises my concentration and focus to play alongside a professional and to be expected to keep up!"

We encourage talented young players to join SPO, especially in the strings. Spires Music Ltd takes its responsibilities under Child Protection laws and regulations very seriously. Members of the organisation are nominated for supervising minors at rehearsals and concerts. Supervisors have appropriate disclosure and barring checks performed before they begin their duties, and regularly thereafter. Parental permission is required in advance for all activities, and for release of any publicity photographs, videos or names (e.g. on posters) of their children.

If you would like to be considered for playing in the Spires Philharmonic Orchestra please contact the orchestra manager, Jack Lovell. We accept recommendations from an existing SPO player or from your teacher, an audition, or appropriate experience.