What We Do
Led by our inspirational conductor, Leon Gee, we give four or more concerts a year in West London venues to enthusiastic audiences. Our repertoire centres around exploring core symphonies & concertos; most recently works by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Prokofiev & Berlioz. We are fortunate to have been joined by a host of brilliant soloists, including Tamsin Little & alumna Fenella Humphreys, as well as BBC Young Musician Winners & Finalists Martin James Bartlett, Lauren Zhang & Rob Burton.
We also have a commitment to perform new works whenever possible, including the world premier at our 60th Anniversary Gala Concert of "weaves flowers and leaves" by our alumna composer, Hannah Kendall.
In addition to our regular concerts we also hold an annual Concertothon, when we celebrate the achievements of four of our members by inviting them to play a movement from a concerto of their choice with the orchestra. This is a very special event in our calendar.
We also give all players the opportunity to play as soloists or in small ensembles at our EYO Young Soloists Evening, held each July in the beautiful, tiny church of St. Mary's in Perivale.
Towards the end of the academic year we have the EYO Roadshow, our successful outreach programme. This gives players - usually those who have just finished A levels and GCSEs - the opportunity to visit local primary schools to showcase their love of music making and to encourage and enthuse the next generation. Thanks to a collaboration with Ealing Music Service, we are able to provide a wide range of orchestral instruments for youngsters to try out. This is an uplifting experience for all involved. As one of our players wrote..."when it comes to mentoring children, it is the sheer satisfaction & reward of simply being part of a pupil's first steps into the alien world of orchestral instruments that is reason enough to participate".
In recent years EYO has formed helpful mentoring partnerships with the English Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. These endeavours have allowed EYO players to experience side-by-side support from professionals sitting within the orchestra for both rehearsals and performances and have made it possible for more challenging works to be included in our concerts, eg. Richard Strauss's "Alpine Symphony" and William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast". One rehearsal each term is dedicated to "Sectionals", when each section of the orchestra is rehearsed in more detail by a professional musician.
A highlight of the year is our eagerly-anticipated week-long tour to Europe, when the orchestra rehearses for and performs three concerts. As well as immersing themselves in concentrated music making, the players have ample time for sight-seeing, shopping & fun social activities. Recent tour destinations include: Barcelona (2019), Bruges & Antwerp (2018), Budapest (2017), Cologne (2016), Krakow (2015) & Paris (2014).
SUPPORT and SAFETY
The Trustees of the orchestra take the safety and well-being of all the players very seriously. We operate a Buddy Scheme, whereby all new players to the orchestra are partnered with a more senior member to help them settle in.
We have a detailed Safeguarding Policy and a Code of Conduct. Both are reviewed on a regular basis and are accessible via the link below. Our Designated Safeguarding Officer is Mike Watts.