The Wharfedale Chamber Ensemble was formed in 2012 by Clare Richards who was keen to start a high quality string orchestra. The ensemble draws players from the Wharfe Valley area and beyond. Some of our members also play with Airedale Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia of Leeds and Leeds Symphony Orchestra.
We meet regularly throughout the year, about once a term, and rehearse in a fairly unusual way. Our first rehearsal, on Friday evening, is a play-through of the works to be covered that weekend. Our second rehearsal, on Sunday morning, is in small groups: firstly in same instrument sectionals, then in string quartets and other small ensembles. Our third rehearsal, on Sunday afternoon, is with our conductor and at the end of this session we give a short informal concert to families with children, friends and anybody who would like to come along.
Making music of a high standard for all to enjoy is an important part of our ethos. We want classical music to be accessible to people of all ages, and young children are very welcome to our family concerts. In our July family concert, we even ask the audience to bring their stringed instruments and play along in one of our pieces with us.