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About the group

This orchestra is unique in Cheshire, bringing together aspiring young musicians from right across the whole of Cheshire – members are drawn from Chester, Congleton, Malpas, Macclesfield, Tarporley, Frodsham and Knutsford.

Members need to have been learning for around a year so they are at around Grade 1 standard or higher and members are generally in year 3 to year 8 at school. If in doubt as to whether the orchestra would be suitable, children could ask their instrument teacher whether they should join. Instruments eligible are: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone, bassoon, and oboe.

The orchestra only meets 9 times a year on alternate Saturdays and Sundays once a month from 10am to 12:30 pm during term time so the time commitment isn’t too great. Many families share lifts to get children to and from rehearsals. Rehearsals are held at Millfields Primary School, Marsh Lane, Nantwich, CW5 5HP.

However, the results achieved are extraordinary. You can get a flavour of the orchestra by checking out some of our video clips on the video page here.

The orchestra has performed at venues as diverse as the Crewe Lyceum Theatre, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Chester’s Northgate Arena, Chester Town Hall and Oulton Park Racing Circuit (!). It has also given a live radio broadcast. The Orchestra has developed a reputation for involving young musicians in exciting, contemporary music making. One of its undoubted strengths is that all the music is written or arranged specifically for the players in the group by its Musical Director, Ashley Thompson.

What is the cost of membership?

This group is offered completely free to Music for Life students. Groups like this support the work done in instrumental lessons and are designed to engage young people and motivate them in their music making. Students who do not learn with Music for Life are also very welcome to join for a small subscription fee of £60 per year (£20 per term).

How do we join?

Just send us an email (below) or phone 01978 761162 to register an interest. We will then contact you.

Interested in joining?

We’d love to have you join us. Just complete the simple form here and we will get back to you.

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Praise for Music for Life

Mr and Mrs Hughes, Macclesfield

We have been extremely pleased with the service you have provided over the past 9 years. Your admin has been excellent and you have always been helpful and polite. Aidan started at All Hallows with Rosie and Linda in 2010. Rosie has been a fantastic teacher for all 3 of our children, enabling them each to develop their piano playing in the different directions they have chosen: jazz/improvisation, ARSM Diploma, and a non-exam route playing for enjoyment whilst still improving technical ability. They have thoroughly enjoyed their lessons, practised hard and made amazing progress. Credit is due to Rosie for treating them each as individuals and being flexible and creative enough to develop their own interests and coach them through the dreaded aural tests!
Linda was also fantastic teaching Aidan clarinet and enabled him to achieve the ARSM Diploma. With her encouragement Aidan now also regularly plays saxophone and is heavily in music at University: chamber, jazz and musicals. Our children also really enjoyed the jazz workshops you ran at All Hallows on a couple of occasions.
Many thanks to you all, and we hope you are able to continue to provide your excellent service to many more youngsters.

Dr Sims, Upton, Wirral

In 2 short years, my daughter has progressed to now starting work on grade 4 flute. We are absolutely delighted with this and so very grateful to Mrs Oade who has inspired and encouraged Rebekah so much. The standard of her teaching has been second to none and Rebekah has consistently undertaken her practice with no prompting.  We are now re-locating and can only hope that Rebekah’s new teacher is anywhere near as excellent as Mrs Oade.

Thank you to ‘Music for Life’. Rebekah was schooled in the private sector for prep and had music lessons arranged with individual instrument teachers. The system was nowhere near as efficient and required significantly more monitoring and intervention on my part. Please do keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure it is changing so many young persons lives for the better!

Mrs Batchelor, Chester

I just wanted to say thank you to his tutors and MfL for inspiring my son and being brilliant, encouraging teachers. It has been a great experience for him. He is autistic and we have been amazed how he has progressed. It has given him confidence and been a calming influence for him.

Mrs Lavelle, Altrincham

Your emphasis on inclusion and excellence in seemingly equal measure is really remarkable. The performances were much more joyful and committed than anything we have seen before from people of that age and experience. Your choice of music, the type of arranging and the personalities of the people you employ clearly works very well and is something of a special formula.

Mrs Sadler, Crewe

As someone who has always taken a sympathetic and supportive interest in our daughter (whom you know to be severely /profoundly deaf ) we thought you would want to know that she has won a National competition for deaf musicians! Her prize includes a 2 day Masterclass, taught by specialists of national repute and then she is playing at the Birmingham Rep Theatre. Well done Mrs Turner and Music For Life!