We run two programmes each year

An opportunity to play exciting repertoire in a fun and friendly orchestra.

Easter Orchestra Week

Ellesmere, Shopshire

A fun weekend for brass players, making good music with like-minded people.

Brass Weekend

Oswestry, Shopshire

Easter Orchestra Week

Friday 12 April – Thursday 18 April 2019

Ellesmere, Shropshire

The Easter Orchestral Society organises an annual orchestral residential week for adults and students, based at Ellesmere College, close to the market town of Ellesmere in Shropshire. Click here for directions to Ellesmere College.

During the week we aim to tackle repertoire most amateurs do not normally get the opportunity to play. It is intensive and challenging, but fun and friendly.  See below for 2019 repertoire.

Most participants choose to stay on campus. There are single, twin and double rooms available. A limited number have en suite facilities. You can also choose to stay elsewhere as a non-resident.

Facilities on campus include plenty of rooms for chamber groups, a swimming pool, gym, tennis courts, a golf course and on-site car parking. There is a bar on campus; local pubs are within walking distance. 

The Musical Director is Michael Thorne. Tom Hammond is our Assistant Musical Director. The orchestra is led by Margaret Holter.

A typical day involves work on the principal works in the morning followed by lunch. There is free time in the afternoon and then we tackle a major play-through work (often a large-scale symphony) after tea. We break for dinner, and then there’s more, often lighter, play-through repertoire after dinner. Most of us then head for  the bar! At the end of the week there is an informal concert where we play the principal works.

Applications for 2019 are now open (see link below). Players need to be of at least Grade 8 standard with orchestral experience and excellent sight reading skills. You are advised to apply as soon as possible because there is a degree of competition for places, particularly in the woodwind and brass sections. Priority will be given to the consideration of applications received before the end of September 2018 from players who have attended in the previous two years. The Musical Director’s decision on acceptance is final.

Easter Orchestra Week subscriptions (per person) are given in the table below.

You can download a copy of the Easter Week Brochure 2019 here: Easter Week Brochure 2019.


Apply for the Easter Orchestra week



Remaining 2019 vacancies:

violin, viola

all other sections are now full

subsidised places

There are a few subsidised student places for instruments for which there is a vacancy, which halves the subscription. If you would like to be considered for a subsidised place, please indicate this and give details of your full-time student status on the application form (under Other Information). 


All 2019 scholarships have now been allocated


repertoire 2019

The repertoire for 2019 is given below. We will make every effort not to vary the programme, but some changes may have to be made for practical reasons.

There’s a list of all the repertoire we’ve played since 2006 here: Easter Orchestral Society Repertoire Listing

Morning sessions — principal works

Richard Strauss Till Eulenspiegel
Leoš Janáček From the House of the Dead Suite
Andrzej Panufnik Concerto Festivo
Arvo Pärt Symphony No. 3

Afternoon sessions

Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 1
George Lloyd Symphony No. 4
Michael Tippett Rose Lake
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No 12
Rodion Shchedrin Naughty Limericks
Maurice Ravel Daphnis and Chloé  (complete)
Aaron Copland Symphony No. 3
Erich Korngold Robin Hood Suite

evening sessions

Robert Schumann Symphony No. 3
Dmitry Kabalevsky Piano Concerto No. 3
Gustav Mahler Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Ethel Smyth The Wreckers Overture
Edward Elgar Sea Pictures Op. 37
Matthew Taylor Blasket Dances (wind/percussion only)
Edward Elgar Polonia Op. 76
Andrzej Panufnik Polonia Suite 1959
David Maslanka In Memoriam (wind/percussion only)
Gioachino Rossini La Boutique Fantasque Suite
Giacomo Puccini La Bohème orchestral selections
Malcolm Arnold Bridge on the River Kwai Suite
Bernard Herrmann North by Northwest
Ennio Morricone The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
John Williams Raiders of the Lost Ark


Easter Orchestra Week Subscriptions (per person)



Single Room (shared facilities)

Full Board



Single Room (en suite)

Double Rooms (en suite) are £595 per person

Full Board



Twin Room (shared facilities)

Full Board




Tea/coffee plus one meal per day


The number of en suite rooms is limited, and will be allocated strictly on a first come first served basis. Where an en suite room has been requested, but is unavailable, a shared facilities room will be allocated, at the lower subscription, of course!

Full Board includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea/coffee/biscuits/cakes in breaks starting with dinner on the first day of the week and finishing with breakfast on the final day.

To apply, please click below. The Secretary will then be in touch with you about your application, and to request a non-refundable deposit of £100 (refundable if your application is unsuccessful).

You can download a copy of the Easter Week Brochure 2019 here: Easter Week Brochure 2019



Brass Weekend

Friday 25 – Sunday 27 October 2019

Oswestry, Shropshire


This weekend is aimed at experienced and competent orchestral brass
players with good sight reading ability. Places will be limited to 5 trumpets, 4 horns, 4 trombones and 2 tubas: early application is advised.

We aim to have a fun weekend, playing in different sized ensembles and making good music with like-minded people. Please bring any music you would like to play.

The EOS Brass Musical Director is Shaun Matthew.

2018 Repertoire (2019 Repertoire will appear here when finalised)

M Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition (Arranger Elgar Howarth)
E Rautavaara – A Requiem in our Time
M Ravel – Alborada del Gracioso (Arranger Allen)

All accommodation will be en suite and full board. The 2019 subscription will be announced when applications open in 2019.