Sponsor a player in the Festival Orchestra

We are so often overwhelmed by the support of local people towards hosting such a diverse selection of world-class musicians in and around Colchester. The appetite for the festival grows and grows and each year we relish the challenge of discovering new talent, seeking out unknown venues and creating unique projects that are truly valued by performers and audiences alike – thank you.

But did you know that ticket sales cover barely a fraction of putting on events? We spend much of our time fundraising and couldn’t exist without financial support from grants, local businesses and generous, like-minded individuals who share our commitment to make the highest quality art available to the greatest number of people across North Essex and South Suffolk.

One of the most remarkable things about the festival is our final weekend in the vertiginous wool church of St Mary in Stoke by Nayland. Looking out over the Stour Valley, this has to be one of our most impressive locations, enjoyed year-on-year by a growing number of superlative orchestral musicians who perform in the festival.

Roman River Festival Orchestra in Stoke by Nayland, 2015

Roman River Festival Orchestra in Stoke by Nayland, 2015

A number of people have approached us recently to find out how they can get more involved with the festival and offer their own support. There is always intrigue into what goes on behind the scenes and the wonderful events at Stoke by Nayland are undoubtedly some of our most ambitious and memorable – a full-scale performance of Brahms’ Deutches Requiem, Elena Urioste performing The Lark Ascending accompanied by a bird flittering through the rafters, Gwyneth Herbert leading over 350 people in folksong…

Integral to these events is an orchestra of consummate professionals, many of whom relish the opportunity to perform outside of London in such a beautiful setting, to rehearse and develop away from the rush and noise of the City and to be truly appreciated by warm, responsive festival audiences. Our unique projects attract players from the top seats in UK orchestras including the City of London Sinfonia, London Chamber, London Symphony and Royal Philharmonic.

Alongside these established players, our growing rostrum of young performers provides raw energy, fresh perspectives and the inimitable enthusiasm of youth! We create unique opportunities for emerging players to develop within the ensemble, with a proven track record of enhancing the experience for all involved –

“The chance to work in such depth in order to include the young players, demanding of them the results that we wanted for ourselves because we were also going to be on the platform, meant a new and refreshed intensity to our work. The development in the clarinet player was such a high level that I felt able to invite him into the Britten Sinfonia. An excellent forum for taking young graduates to the next level of professional performance.”

 Joy Farrell (principal clarinet, Britten Sinfonia)

Roman River Finale Orchestra - local young people learning from the pros

Roman River Finale Orchestra – local young people learning from the pros

We would like to involve you, our loyal supporters, in creating these wonderful opportunities within the festival and are now opening a new scheme enabling people to sponsor a specific seat within the orchestra.

As we are planning the 2017 festival we have several exciting works already in development including a second arrangement by Iain Farrington, who brought us Mahler’s ethereal first symphony and the extraordinary Bartok Miraculous Mandarin, and other much-loved works in a rousing main orchestral concert on Saturday 30 September and Festival Finale with local young people on Sunday 1 October.

Perhaps you would like to sponsor a musician in memory of a loved one, support a player on a more unusual instrument or help one of your favourites return to the platform? This is your opportunity to be part of this very special weekend, get behind the scenes and meet the players who bring the music to life.

Seat sponsorship starts at £250.

Please email Orlando to find out more…