Musical members of Hitchin’s first new orchestra in a decade are tuning up for their inaugural concert.

The Hitchin Chamber Orchestra – a string ensemble of more than 20 players – has been founded by keen musicians Ros Boswell, Nick Evans-Pughe, Vanessa Gaidoni, Paul Reynard, Jane Stott, Ross Woodin and Fran Wroe.

And their first official performance will be in the town’s St Mary’s Church on Saturday, November 7.

The new orchestra has a membership drawn from the area, with a mix of accomplished amateur, professional instrumental teachers, and a core of freelance musicians who lead the sections.

The first concert will include popular works including Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, as well as the fourth symphony by 18th century English composer William Boyce, Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite, Grieg’s Elegiac Melodies and Percy Grainger’s Molly by the Shore.

Founder member Ross Woodin said: “With so many fine string players in Hitchin, we’ve been thinking about forming a chamber orchestra for a while.

“Most of the repertoire is played without a conductor. Rehearsals are positive and purposeful, and are characterised by a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.

“We seek and expect challenge and the pay-off comes with the warm satisfaction of playing a part in performances of a high standard and from which our audiences derive great pleasure.”

The first concert is preceded by a series of rehearsals at Tilehouse Street Baptist Church on Upper Tilehouse Street, including one from 7.30pm and 10pm on the evening before the big day, rounded off by a trip to The Highlander pub next door. “Our repertoire is as extensive as it is varied, and future concerts will give us the opportunity to explore some rarely heard music alongside the acclaimed favourites of the string and orchestra genre.

“By and large, new members are recommended to us, but anyone interested in playing with us is welcome to get in touch.”

Advance tickets are £10 for adults, £5 for children, or £12/£6 on the door.

You can book tickets online at or email Tickets are also on sale from the Hitchin Initiative offices in Churchyard.