The People's Orchestra

The People’s Orchestra was founded by Sarah Marshall in 2012. After six months as an Arts Council England funded project, The People’s Orchestra became the very first orchestra in the UK to become a Charitably Incorporated Organisation (CIO). 

The People’s Orchestra was set up to fill the gap in music provision for musicians leaving education, who wanted to continue performing to a high standard. The challenge was set to create a whole new type of ensemble, performing film, games and light popular music for a newly developing audience.  

Initial auditions showed great promise for a new format of orchestra, with too many great flute players to choose only two! In true community style, the orchestra began accepting all instruments, traditionally orchestral or beyond, for those who played to the standard the orchestra was targeting.  

The People's Orchestra are one of the UK's leading pro-amateur instrumental orchestras, well known for a pioneering approach to music. Unafraid to do something different, the orchestra reinterprets classics, premieres new music from award winning film composers and even lets musicians lose to compose for silent films. Eight years on and whether you play the violin on the weekends, are unable to make every rehearsal or you have not picked up the trumpet for 20 years – everyone is welcome.  

The orchestra is based in Sandwell performing to audiences in one of the best, yet unknown live music spaces in The Black Country, West Bromwich Town Hall.  

Since you're here...

… we have a small favour to ask. More people than ever are being helped back into work thanks to our players, and our outreach work is helping more and more people in our community, but this year has been the most difficult ever to raise the grant funding we need to keep going. Fears over Brexit hasn’t help and we really don’t want to increase ticket prices – we want to make our concerts open to all, including the most disadvantaged in our community. So, you can see why we need to ask for your help. The People’s Orchestra is a charity. We play great music but importantly we help loads of people back into work, 900+ to date. Our staff help students gain great marks for university projects too. We are not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. We’re volunteer led, inclusive and diverse. And this gives us the power to yes to all sorts of community causes. It lets us challenge the norm - and prove a point. Being different works. And at a time when music teaching in schools is declining and funding for school orchestras is at an all-time low, we need to expand to fill the gaps and support those who need us, it’s what sets us apart from so many others. The People’s Orchestra long-term sustainability relies on the support that we receive directly from our followers. And we would like to thank all those who are helping to make our future secure. But we cannot stop here. As more of you offer your ongoing support, we can keep investing in quality music and community support. We can remain a strong, progressive force that is open to all. If everyone who attends our concerts, or reads our news, who likes us, also helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support The People’s Orchestra – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.