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From: "Phil McKerracher via BSO members">
Subject: Survey results
Date: November 10th 2017

47 members completed the survey after the last concert (May 2017) and the responses have been analysed and discussed by the committee in considerable detail. We promised to share the results with you, so here’s a summary.

The aggregate responses can be viewed here Notable points:

  • With the possible exception of the Dukas difficulty wasn’t generally a problem, which is a tribute to the ability of our players and makes future programme choice easier.
  • There’s not much we could do about changing the temperature in the hall that would please more people than it displeased.
  • There is some dissatisfaction with the availability and legibility of parts. We’ll explore this in more detail in future surveys.
  • There is some enthusiasm for having more opportunities to socialise. We’ll explore this in more detail as well.
  • There’s no clear consensus about having more opportunities to perform in summer, and indeed for most of the other “agree/disagree” questions there’s little appetite for change.

The written comments are not reproduced here to preserve anonymity, but I’ll try to summarise the most important points:

  • “The new layout is very cramped… I worry about instrument damage.”
    Response: This comment was made both about concerts and rehearsals, and both spaces are more than large enough to accommodate the whole orchestra. So it means we’re sometimes getting the distribution of seats wrong during the setup, which is a tricky thing to get right. If this is happening to you regularly, please either arrive earlier to help set up, or suggest a better layout to a member of the committee and we’ll try to make it happen.
  • “Thinking about the green room facilities: we pay an awful lot of money for the place so it wouldn't be too much trouble for them to set out a few tables…”
    Response: It’s usually up to the hirer to arrange the available chairs and tables as they want them, and indeed to stack them afterwards and leave the room as it was found. Do we really want someone to do it for us?
  • “A key question missing here is about how the programme as a whole held together…”
  • “the Dukas Poeme demanded far too much rehearsal time relative to the other works in the programme….”
  • “Brilliantly scheduled as usual - nobody's time wasted.”
  • “I was grateful for all of Adrian's knowledge, hard work, dedication and enthusiasm…”
  • “I actually copied out a part from IMSLP and did a scissors and paste job to make legibility and page turning a lot easier…”
  • “Rehearsal venue acoustics are poor…”
  • “The chairs are hard…”
  • “People at the back of sections tend to feel less included…”
  • “Adrian does a wonderful job …but I don't come along to be yelled at.”
  • “Sometimes I go home crying…”
  • “Communication from the committee hasn't been good this year….”
  • “I hope the Committee steps up next season…”
  • “Thanks to Paul and all of you on the committee for all that you do…”
  • “I wonder about a Christmas (or other) pops type event (not audience-sung carols, NB)…”
  • “…an increasing drift towards early (or sometimes later) 20th Century works…we are neglecting not just the traditional 19th century symphonic orchestral canon …but lesser known pieces from that era”
  • “…what would a new member reasonably expect by way of welcome…a bit more visible 'customer care' and less taking people and situations for granted, particularly at first rehearsals, would help”
  • “…we should be encouraging young musicians through a variety of outreach programmes, eg school visits, open rehearsals, young composer competitions.”


We’ve taken all your comments on board and are planning to run more member surveys in future (not every concert but at least one per season) so we look forward to learning more and thank you all for your time and effort to keep us informed. Remember comments can be submitted at any time – anonymously if you wish – at


Phil McKerracher
+44 7565 803841


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