The Charnwood Orchestra began as the Quorn Orchestra making its debut at Rawlins on 4th April 1974 with a concert comprising Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony and Beethoven’s overture, Prometheus. These works could be enjoyed for 30p or 15p for children and OAPs!

Joseph O’Reilly's vision was that ex-county orchestra (LSSO) players had the opportunity to make music in a non-professional envinronment. After the tragic death of Joe, Anice Paterson conducted for a couple of years before retiring to Kendal. Paul Hilliam took up the baton of the Orchestra in 1990. With Paul on the rostrum, the Charnwood Orchestra moved a little from the core of their repertoire and sometimes a little further afield. In May 1996 the Charnwood Orchestra performed a series of concerts in Pithiviers and Orleans in France to receptive audiences and equally welcoming press reviews.

Our current conductor is Nic Fallowfield, who took over from Paul for the concert at Rawlins in 1998. Nic leads a varied professional life as conductor, violinist and teacher. The repertoire and stature of the Charnwood Orchestra has continued to grow under Nic's direction and hopefully this will continue for a long time to come.

In May 1999 Nic conducted a series of concerts that were staged in Dublin, including one at the National Gallery of Ireland, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the orchestra by Dubliner Joseph O’Reilly. A similarly successful tour was also undertaken in 2001, and in 2013 Nic conducted the Charnwood Orchestra's 40th Anniversary Gala Concert in Loughborough.

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