Frequently asked questions – if your question isn’t answered here, contact us to get it added.

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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. You can use a browser plugin such as Video & Audio Downloader to download audio and video recordings (start playing the recording to make it appear in the list).

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

A good quality video recording of our November 2017 “Spanish Concert” exists and hard copies (DVD or Blu-ray) can be purchased on request.

Are programmes available?

Printed programmes are available in the foyer at performances and usually cost £2.00. 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.

Are refreshments available at concerts?

Cold drinks and glasses of wine and beer are normally available during the interval. We no longer offer hot drinks because we would need a longer interval to accommodate them. Drinks can be pre-ordered at the refreshment counter before the concert, when available. Drinks are not allowed in the main auditorium.

Are refreshments available at rehearsals?

Tea, coffee and biscuits are normally available at rehearsals during the interval and cost 50p – please bring your own mug if possible.

Are there auditions for new members?

No, 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.

Are we really sold out?

If the ticketing system shows that all seats for a concert or block are sold out, contact us. We usually get a few returns and there are also a limited number of unreserved seats (one row of seating at very back of the hall with restricted visibility) available for sale on the night. We have never had to turn anyone away at the door, although we have come close on several occasions.

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.

Do we hire professional performers?

We do occasionally hire professionals for specific performances when necessary. Since we are a non-professional orchestra the fee we offer may be 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 in any capacity.

Does the concert hall have disabled access?

There is disabled parking in front of the hall with step-free access to the building. 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. Also note that there are no handrails beside the aisles in the stalls (because those seats are retractable). 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 (stage right) 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

Does the rehearsal venue have music stands?

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

How can I find out about future concerts?

  • Future concerts in the current season are shown on our home page and our brochure.
  • We post flyers in local libraries, music shops and other public places and welcome help to reach places we have missed (we can post some to you free of charge).
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive a reminder approximately two weeks before every concert.
  • You can follow our updates on FacebookX and Instagram.
  • We publish our concerts on Concert-Diary.com (used by Classic FM and the BBC), Bromley Events,  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 on the front page of our website when known.

How can I get the best seats?

Season tickets are available at the start of each season until the November concert and give you four concerts for the price of three. More than half our audience buy their tickets this way.

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

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.

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, X or instagram) 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 harps (most other instruments have a waiting list). We expect players to have reached Grade 8 standard or equivalent.

How do I request that a piece be performed (even my own composition)?

Suggestions for candidate pieces may be submitted at any time and decisions for the following season are usually made in November. 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).

How much does it cost to join?

The annual fee for 2023/24 is £160, due at your first rehearsal. Details are on our subscriptions page. In cases of hardship, please consult the chair, Mike Ibbott.

Is parking available?

There is free on-site parking at both our usual concert venue and rehearsal venue, with step-free access for disabled people. Access can be slow if there is an event at the sports field next to the concert hall, so please allow plenty of time.

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.

What pandemic precautions are in place at concerts?

The latest government guidance applies when attending concerts. The government now suggests “… that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet”. Seat spacing and capacity limits are back to normal. Interval refreshments are available again.

We encourage concert and rehearsal attendees to take a rapid lateral flow test before coming if you have any cold-like symptoms, and to continue to wear face coverings where practical. 

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.

Note that TicketSource offers refunds on cancelled concerts and optional “refund protection” (essentially insurance in case you’re unable to attend) for tickets sold via them.

What time does the concert end?

Our concerts usually last about two hours, including the interval, which means most people are out by 10 pm. The approximate duration of each piece we perform, the concert order and any interval are shown on our rehearsal schedule when known and can be used for a more accurate estimate.

When and where do you rehearse?

We rehearse most Monday evenings from 19:30 to 22:00 during term time – about 8 rehearsals for each concert, four concerts a year. During pandemics or bad weather rehearsals may be cancelled at short notice – please check the members page for details. Rehearsals are normally at Bishop Justus CE School, Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley BR2 8HZ.

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.

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. There are no fees. Tickets are delivered by email.
  • Tickets are also available at the door on the day of the concert, subject to availability. They may be paid for by cash, cheque or credit/debit card.
  • 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.

Why do we allow concerts to clash with other local events?

We do try to avoid clashes with other local concerts, fireworks, major sporting events and anything else that might reduce our audience. However, our concert dates are heavily constrained by the availability of the hall, our conductor, our soloists and the need to rehearse during term time when most of our members are around. We have found that attempts to reschedule a concert often simply result in a different set of clashes.

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. We will not withhold that permission unreasonably.