The Orchestra in Lockdown

The last few weeks should have seen the nearly 100-year old Ealing Symphony Orchestra (ESO) preparing for a concert on Saturday 16th May. As with other music groups, the introduction of lockdown restrictions has suspended weekly rehearsals and the prospect of resuming activities seems a long way off. To keep the spirit of the orchestra alive in lockdown, players have continued to meet virtually each week, even attempting the occasional singalong despite the time lag challenges of video conferencing.

While the weekly sessions have proven great fun, they haven’t come close to sparking the joy that comes from making music together, so ESO decided to produce its very own lockdown performance.

Fifty-one musicians, ranging in age from 18 to 80, contributed to a virtual performance of Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No. 4, with some recording more than one part, and in other cases playing more than one instrument.

The piece was chosen by the orchestra for its uplifting melodies, reflecting the orchestra’s excitement for the day they can play together again in the real world.

Until then, Ealing Symphony Orchestra would like to share its performance with other music lovers – it represents the orchestra’s own little triumph over adversity, and the orchestra hopes the piece lifts others’ spirits as much to watch, as it did to make it!

Read the whole story.

Who we are

The ESO is an independent voluntary orchestra based in West London, established nearly a century ago and still going strong. We have been under the baton of John Gibbons, well-known in both the professional and amateur worlds, since 1994.

Our next concerts are listed on our Concerts page; ticket information on the Tickets page. We try to break away from the ‘usual’ repertoire with plenty of new and exciting things, particularly British composers and 20th (and 21st) century music.


We would love to hear from potential new members, particularly strings, who enjoy exciting programmes, lots of variety in their playing opportunities and a solid social scene – if this sounds like you, check out Join Us and see what you think!

You can join at any point during the year, we don’t have a specific intake period and we don’t audition for strings (we prefer an on-the-job evaluation).


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