Running an orchestra was a long-held ambition of Claire Garner’s, but that ambition took a while to become Chertsey Orchestra. Here’s how it happened…

As part of her private teaching, Claire used to teach violin to 4 girls who all lived in the same road and were friends. One of their mums was also learning the violin, and another of their mums was a flautist. As Christmas approached in 2013, Claire arranged some Christmas Carols with custom-written parts, tailored to everyone’s ability, and the little group got together to play them. It was such a success that the following year, Claire expanded this event to include all her students, and around 20 people got together in her living room.

By 2016, with 18 musicians and around 30 spectating guests, it became necessary to use a larger venue, so the Fine Tuning Music Tuition Christmas Carols Play-Through took place in St. Peter’s Church Hall. Following this, with enough momentum, enthusiasm & support from her students, friends & family, Claire launched Chertsey Orchestra on 10th January 2017.

Fine Tuning Music Tuition Christmas Carols Play-Through, 2016

At Chertsey Orchestra’s first rehearsal there were 8 musicians. Now, there are over 40. We’ve played our own concerts, we’ve performed at the Chertsey Goose Fair, we’ve joined forces to play concerts with our friends Addlestone Singers and the Oatlands Park Pipe Band, and of course we always have our annual Christmas Carols Concert with Fine Tuning Music Tuition students. We’re always excited to embrace new performance opportunities and challenges, and to welcome new musicians into our community.

Chertsey Orchestra & Fine Tuning Music Tuition Christmas Carol Concert, 2017