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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.

Praise for Music for Life

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!

Mrs Cliffe, Helsby

May I take this opportunity to say how very happy and impressed we are with the level of care and motivational input given to young musicians by ALL of your staff. Samuel can be easily overwhelmed by new situations but with MfL he has blossomed and grown in confidence. Music for Life are to be highly recommended as a professional, motivational and inspiring organisation with talented and inspirational tutors who really care about the child.

S Grinton, parent, Neston.

You have helped Adam enormously with his music and he has grown with confidence since you started the band.

S Grinton, parent, Neston.

Ben Everitt, former Music for Life student

It was an honour playing with such great people and it was in many ways the main driving force keeping me motivated to play music. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me.

Ben Everitt, former Music for Life student