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Orchestra Manager Diaries – Working towards Carnival of the Animals with The People’s Orchestra

I’m starting to have a spot of writing for the blog posts at TPO – not only because we need more blog posts, the internet is down and I need to write away the stress, but I thought it might be a nice insight into some of the happenings at TPO HQ. Share some of the good things, work in some updates, that sort of stuff.


I’ve been with The People’s Orchestra (TPO) 11 years now, and been the Orchestra Manager for about 2 of those. I didn’t expect to be manager of anything much at age 25. 11 years down, I have some idea what happens – though granted with the ensembles growing at the rate they are, I might be more clueless than ever. Thank goodness for patient staff.


I’ve started this bit of writing two days out from TPO doing Carnival of the Animals. The stage is being assembled downstairs and the programmes definitely aren’t here yet despite me going to the post box for the 6th time today. All perfectly ready for our last night of performance in West Bromwich Town Hall. Well, at least till the refurbishments are done in who knows how many years’ time.


Carnival of the Animals may have been an odd choice for a traditionally film music based orchestra. We had a lot of feedback that music had gotten quite similar in prior concerts, yes, however I had really always loved the idea of bringing more styles of music to more audiences in approachable and friendly ways. Carnival has an original script and narrator alongside the piece, which will be really fun and different to our traditional format. It’s been a whirlwind, and I can’t believe all the wonderful arranger time dedicated to this work is about be performed over 40 minutes on Saturday.


Even though I am so very pleased to have provided quite the change in pace for our strings and flutes, I am looking to get back to basics next time, with the music we know and love. Definitely appreciate our brass sections patience with the classical interlude to the proceedings. Absolutely musicals next. Love a musical.


Getting back to the point – We tried really hard to make Carnival work as best we could for an orchestra that includes all the instruments it possibly can. I would recommend this concert for a nice afternoon out. We are encouraging people to come up and conduct the orchestra after Carnival – come and live out the dream, waving your arms about wildly and magical music happening. It’s great. Can you tell I know nothing about conducting.


Wish me luck and tuning for Saturday, its needed.

Happy playing,

The Orchestra Manager

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