Groups of recorders playing together probably go back to the 16th Century, but the modern development started in Germany in the 1950s, and in the UK in the 1970s. The 1990s saw an expansion but the real explosion has been during the first decade of this century.
Affiliate Membership of the Society is available to recorder orchestras and other groups, the current annual cost being £47. This covers the Society’s year from 1 September to 31 August: if you affiliate for the first time after January 1st, you may pay half the full cost for the remainder of the year. For this you receive two copies of the Recorder Magazine, and also the benefit of the Society’s public liability insurance (only for England, Scotland and Wales). In addition you can if you wish have web pages on this site and an SRP email address. To join or to renew your affiliate membership please complete this application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Country & Overseas Branch Secretary (cossrporguk).
This page lists all the recorder groups that we know about. Affiliated groups are marked with an asterisk. For more details see their websites (where provided) or contact those listed below. If you would like your group listed, please contact the web editor (webeditsrporguk) .
Courses and Playing Days run by these groups are also included on the Courses Page
contact: Ed Friday
Conductors: Tom Beets and Joris Van Goethem
Air-Force is now a well-oiled machine that tours the world with Tom Beets and Joris Van Goethem at the helm. It is usually a one day recorder orchestra event, which you can sign up for as you please. Air-Force lands in Elstree, Herts three times a year on a Sunday. There is a chamber orchestra (one to a part) and a larger orchestra. You need to be at least “diploma level” standard for the chamber orchestra and around grade 5 and above for the larger orchestra. The music is sent out a few weeks in advance so that you can practise your part before the day. It is a wonderful day of playing, in a friendly atmosphere. We end the day by playing to each other.
contact: Josée Beeson
Conductor: Caroline Jones
ARO aims to give advanced recorder players more opportunity to perform together.
Meetings held near Rugby in Warwickshire. Minimum standard is diploma level.
contact: Caroline Jones 01788 812223
Musical Director: Jane Minns
Based in South East England, the Berkshire Recorder Consort (BRC) was formed early in 1979. Our repertoire ranges from Early Music to contemporary composers encompassing a wide range of musical styles.
Conductor: Helen Whomersley
This is a friendly group of about 16 players formed in the autumn of 2012 under the auspices of the local U3A.
We meet on Monday mornings near Truro and enjoy playing a wide variety of music, mainly S.A.T.B but with occasional larger basses.
contact: Helen Whomersley
Dunorlan Recorders offers occasional playing events (evenings, days, weekends) and concerts in the Tonbridge area.
contact : Ursula Burchette 01732 354763
Conductor: Moira Usher
For players of at least Grade 6 or equivalent ability. We play challenging music from all genres and ages, with a concert in June. Meetings in Bentley near Ipswich.
contact: Chris Blanch 01449 612156
Conductor: Sheila Richards
This new orchestra will normally rehearse on the third Sunday of the month from 2pm to 5pm. It will meet at St Giles Community Hall, Main Road, Balderton NG24 3NN – just outside Newark, Nottinghamshire. The first rehearsal will be on 18th September 2016.
contact: Sheila Richards
Conductor: Michael Graham
Founded by Dorothy Thomas and Michael Graham in 2013, this chamber orchestra of Intermediate-Advanced players enjoys a varied repertoire of historical and contemporary works. One-to-a-part playing is strongly encouraged. Rehearsals are usually the first Sunday of the month with a charity concert held in June every year.
contact: Michael Graham
The orchestra was formed in 2004 to play larger scale and more adventurous works specifically arranged or composed for the orchestral format.
contact:Rachael Shearmur 01626 890 617, 07960 103 394
Musical Director: Christopher Burgess
HRS members are as diverse and versatile as their instruments – with professional musicians, gifted students and enthusiastic and talented amateurs. Their common aim…the pursuit of excellence and the enjoyment of good music.
contact: Christopher Burgess 01489 891873 or Penny Smith 01329 834297
Conductor: Chris Orton
contact: Beryl Craven 01455 553703
Chief Conductor: Helen Hooker
More an evening class than a performance group, meeting on Wednesdays from 7:45 – 9:45 at St. John’s Church Annexe, Lemsford., Welwyn Garden City, AL8 7TT. Reasonably confident players are very welcome – come and try us out.
contact: the treasurer, Jim Grant 01923 461834
Conductor: Debbie Nicholas
Jerrome Recorders is based in Bath and plays all sizes of instrument, from sopranino to contrabass. Our repertoire includes music from the fifteenth century to the present day.
contact: Debbie Nicholas 01453 845328
The LRO has 30-40 members and welcomes new players with a good standard of playing and sight-reading. Meetings in Clapham, London SW4.
contact: Carla Hales 01206 579516 carlabrown303btinternetcom
The MRO has given concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music since soon after its formation in 1982. It also plays by invitation at other venues, which have included concerts in Bradford, Buxton, Coventry, Stretford and Manchester Cathedral.
contact: Ian Chesters 0161 483 5719
Conductor: Sandra Foxall
NERCO was formed in 2004 to enable recorder players in North East England to play some of the large repertoire available for recorder orchestras. At present it has some 30+ members playing the full range of recorders from sopranino to contrabass.
contact: Susan McGregor 07749 349609
Conductor Steve Marshall
The Orchestra on the Hill was established in 2008 to provide a recorder orchestra experience for players of modest technical ability. What started as a tentative experiment has blossomed into a regular and friendly ensemble of about 30 players, which has a great time producing music that benefits from a firm foundation of great basses and contrabasses. The orchestra is conducted by Steve Marshall (and Helen Hooker has been a guest conductor twice). The orchestra plays once a month on Sunday afternoon, not far from Gloucester. We are always keen to welcome new players, of any instrument. You will be able to enjoy the music as long as you can read music a little, but if you are unsure come along anyway – we are very nice and unthreatening!
contact: Steve or Ann Marshall
Conductor: David Pugh
The Peregrine Recorder Orchestra is a friendly group of some 20 recorder players. Meetings held every 2 weeks on Thursday evenings at Ickwell Village Hall, Bedfordshire.
contact: Elaine Martin 07939 036726
Conductor: Michelle Holloway
The Phoenix Recorder Orchestra was formed in 2003 and mostly consists of players from the South West. Our conductor is Michelle Holloway and our resident composer/arranger is Steve Marshall.
We now also have a chamber orchestra of 10-14 players which meets in the morning before main orchestra rehearsals; it performs with the full orchestra but also gives separate performances.
Both groups play a wide range of repertoire on the full range of recorders, from the tiny garklein to our three Sub-great bass recorders, which blend to give a beautiful, rich sound.
Membership of the orchestra is by invitation, but if you would like to find out more about it please contact: infophoenixrecorderorchestraorguk
Recorders at Plymouth is an independent recorder group who meet once a month throughout the year. We play a wide variety of music and have visiting conductors from all over the Country. Visitors are always welcome to attend the playing days which are usually on the first Saturday of the month.
contact: Jan Epps
Conductor: Tom Beets
Recorders Incorporated meets once a year for four days in early January. We rehearse intensively and then do a concert on the final evening. We are a group of around 18 players who are lucky to have Tom Beets lead and conduct us. Players need to be around Diploma level standard. We play a mixture of styles from modern recorder orchestral works to renaissance and jazz.
contact: Josée Beeson
Rugby Recorder Ensemble
contact : Caroline Jones 01788 812223
Musical Director: Ian Wilson
SRO was founded in 2002 and has about 60 members from all parts of Scotland. We rehearse once a month in Stirling, and perform concerts around Scotland and elsewhere.
contact: Jill Taylor 01360 310154
Shrewsbury Consort Of Recorders is an independent group of players who meet at St Chad’s Church Hall in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month (except August and the last week in December). From April 2018 our new musical director is Richard Duncan. We play a variety of music arranged for recorders of all sizes from sopranino to contrabass. In addition, twice a year, the Consort arranges Recorders Galore, an intermediate level playing day open to all comers led by a variety of visiting conductors.
Musical Director: Helen Hooker
TVRO is always keen to welcome new players at grade 6 level or above. Rehearsals one Sunday afternoon per month near Reading, Berkshire.
contact: Helen Hooker 01279 813816
Musical Director: Peter Bowman
Tonbridge North Recorders are a friendly group of about 15 recorder players directed by Dr Peter Bowman, a professional recorder player and teacher. We meet on Monday evenings in a church hall in Tonbridge, from 8-10 pm to play a wide variety of music. We follow school terms, usually with 10 meetings for each of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms and in addition we give occasional concerts. If you are interested in joining us, please contact us at for more information. You should be able to sight-read music at an intermediate level and preferably play at least 2 of the four standard instruments.
Conductor: Grace Barton
WRO was founded in 1998 to encourage recorder players from all over the North West to play in an orchestral setting. Rehearsals on one Saturday each month in Birkenhead.
contact: Diane Barton
Musical Director: Evelyn Nallen
Zero Gravity is a Cambridge-based music group directed by Evelyn Nallen. Consisting primarily of recorder players, the group has a unique sound and performs a variety of music, from baroque to modern. Guest performers help to create a thrilling sound.
contact: Evelyn Nallen 01223 561331