Frequently asked questions

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Where do I get tickets?

  • The quickest way is to use the online ticketing system to choose and purchase tickets, providing you can pay by credit/debit card or PayPal. There are no fees. Tickets are delivered by email.
     
  • Tickets are available at the door on the day of the concert, subject to availability.
     
  • You can call (020) 3627 2974 or use our contact form to enquire about availability or resolve problems, however we are currently unable to accept payments by phone or email.

How can I get the best seats?

Season tickets are available in summer between our May and November concerts and give you preferential booking - the option to keep your usual seats and to choose seats before the ticketing system opens to the general public. They also give you four concerts for the price of three. More than half our audience buy their tickets this way. You can sign up at the May concert or online.

The "circle slips" seats at the side are close to the orchestra and are free for children under 18.

Some free seats are available for concert stewards and other helpers.

All seats at the Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts have a good view and acoustic.

Where are the concerts held?

Concerts are at Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, South Eden Park Road, Beckenham BR3 3BP. 

Detailed directions for finding us by different modes of transport are on our location page. Free parking is available in front of the hall, with places reserved for disabled drivers and step-free access for wheelchair users. 

Does the concert hall have disabled access?

There is disabled parking in front of the hall with step-free access. In the stalls, row A is step free. There are two aisles with steps rising to row H and linking to the circle. Note that the outer ends of each row in the side stalls are against a wall – there is no aisle on the outer ends. There is a lift to the circle.

Step free seats in the stalls

Row A in the stalls is step free, both centre and side. We recommend row A in the side stalls for wheelchair users.

Step free seats in the circle

There is a lift to the circle. In the circle, there are seats on the violin side that are step free - see illustration below.

  • Side circle, seats C36 to C28. Seat C36 is nearest the door.
  • Circle slips, seats B46 to B56. Seat B46 is nearest the door.

Circle row C and Slips row B are step free

Can I get to the hall by public transport?

Yes, buses 352 and 358 and trains to Eden Park station are nearby with a frequent service. Detailed directions for finding us by different modes of transport are on our location page.

How can I find out about future concerts?

  • Future concerts in the current season are shown on our home page and our brochure. You can request to be added to our postal mailing list to get a paper copy posted to you in autumn.
  • We post flyers in local libraries, music shops and other public places and welcome help to reach places we have missed.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to receive an email reminder approximately two weeks before every concert. There is an archive and RSS feed. XML
  • You can follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.
  • We publish our concerts on Concert-Diary.com (used by Classic FM), Bachtrack and Classical Events.
  • You can get automatically updated concert information in the calendar on your smartphone or PC by following these instructions.
  • Provisional dates and programmes for later seasons are shown at the bottom of the front page when known.

Are refreshments available at concerts?

Cold drinks (50p) and glasses of wine and beer (£2.50) are available during the interval, except when we perform an unusually long work with no interval. We no longer offer hot drinks because we would need a longer interval to accommodate them. Drinks are not allowed in the main auditorium.

Are programmes available?

Printed programmes are available in the foyer at performances and cost £1.50. They include programme notes, lists of performers and patrons and biographies of soloists. Electronic copies of past programmes are available on our archive page in PDF format.

In addition, our conductor Adrian Brown gives a spoken introduction to most of our performances.

What time does the concert end?

Our concerts usually last about two hours. The approximate duration of each piece we perform, the concert order and any interval are shown on our rehearsal schedule and can be used for a more accurate estimate. The concert information that can be downloaded to your phone or PC includes an estimated end time for each concert.

Are any recordings available?

Recordings (and videos) of some of our performances can be played or downloaded from our archive pages and our about page. CDs of these can be manufactured on request and may be available for sale in the foyer on concert days. 

You may have noticed that microphones are sometimes set up at our concerts by students studying for "tonmeister" qualifications. The resultant recordings are not always usable, but we make them available on our archive pages when possible.

Am I allowed to photograph or record concerts?

We need consent from all performers before making any recording, and photography during a performance may be distracting for performers and audience. In some cases an extra fee may be payable to copyright holders. Therefore, photography and recording of our concerts is only allowed with explicit prior permission. 

What should I do with unused tickets?

We do not normally accept returns or offer refunds unless a concert is cancelled – tickets are transferable and we hope you will pass any surplus tickets to a friend or neighbour, to help more people discover our concerts.

If that is not possible, please contact us to let us know an unused seat can be resold – we hate to leave a good seat empty.

How can I help as a non-player?

We could not survive without help from our audience and volunteers, who contribute in many ways. Some examples of ways to help:

  • Asking friends, neighbours and colleagues to come to our concerts (perhaps by donating an unused ticket) is a very effective way of supporting us, because empty seats are expensive and good audiences attract good players. We can send you season brochures and concert leaflets for distribution in local shops or libraries on request.
  • A review of one of our concerts in the local press, or even just on social media (e.g. facebook or twitter) or by email would also be an excellent way to help because these can reach a larger number of people.
  • Donating funds as a patron or as a bequest is an effective way to help us afford to perform more ambitious and interesting works with professional soloists. It also helps us keep tickets generally affordable. Simply adding a bit extra to your ticket order is often a convenient way to donate.
  • Volunteering your time at concerts by helping with stewarding, car park marshalling or ticketing is very useful because it allows members to concentrate on performing (and you get a free ticket).
  • We are always interested in suggestions for future pieces to perform or for other improvements, better ways to publicise concerts and feedback on any problems you might encounter at concerts.

Please contact us if you're interested in helping in any way.

How can I join as a player?

Use our contact form to enquire about joining, or come to a rehearsal and speak to the leader - 7:15 pm is a good time to do this.

We currently have vacancies for violins and harps (most other instruments have a waiting list). We expect players to have reached Grade 8 standard or equivalent.

Are there auditions for new members?

We normally just ask prospective new members to sit beside the section leader for part of a rehearsal. Principal players may have a more formal audition.

How much does it cost to join?

Our income from ticket sales and donations is insufficient to cover our costs, so we collect a subscription from members who regularly attend rehearsals. Details are our subscriptions page. In cases of hardship, please consult the chair, Helen Griffiths.

Do you hire extra professional players?

We do sometimes hire extras and soloists when necessary. Since we are a non-professional orchestra the fee we pay is normally less than the professional rate. You are welcome to submit a CV or sample performance using our contact form if you wish to be considered for future performances.

When and where do you rehearse?

We rehearse most Monday evenings during term time - about 8 rehearsals for each concert, four concerts a year. Rehearsals are at Bishop Justus CE School, Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley BR2 8HZ. A detailed rehearsal schedule and directions are on our members page.

Does the rehearsal venue have music stands?

There are no stands at our current rehearsal venue, please bring your own.

Are refreshments available at rehearsals?

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available at rehearsals and cost 50p.

What if I can't make it to a rehearsal?

We ask our members to commit to the full rehearsal series for each concert they play in, but if an absence is unavoidable please contact your section leader immediately, or use the contact form to let us know. If you were due to rehearse a solo part, please find a deputy to play it instead.

What is concert dress?

Performers wear dinner jackets or "long black". There are photographs of performers on our archive pages.

How do I vote for a piece to be performed?

Suggestions for candidate pieces may be submitted at any time. We also run occasional audience surveys. Compositions are more likely to be chosen if they will attract a larger audience and if they make good use of our resources (full orchestra rather than chamber works).

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