The Orchestra is a standard symphony orchestra with full string, wind, brass and percussion sections.

The Orchestra is supported by …

List of the 2017 Orchestra members.


The Manager of the Orchestra is Joanne Vergeer

If you have a child in the Orchestra, any questions or concerns that cannot be answered by information on this site can be answered by Joanne.  Click to contact Joanne


The conductor of the Orchestra is Patrick Shepherd.

Conducting the Music Festival Orchestra is one of the highlights of my year and I always look forward to seeing how the children rise to the occasion playing beautiful music! I am constantly amazed at the standard the young people achieve and the commitment they are prepared to give. When I’m not conducting the festival orchestra I lecture in Music Education at the University of Canterbury and also enjoy composing my own music. I am passionate about music education, new music and olives and in my spare time I am a concert and CD reviewer for The Press. I know I say it every year, but this year is going to be one of the best! Let me wish you all a warm welcome to this year’s festival.


Saturday Rehearsals

Attendance is compulsory
Dates: Click here for rehearsal dates
Venue: Avonhead School Hall, Avonhead Road, Avonhead

Holiday Course

Attendance is compulsory
Dates: 1 October – 3 October
Venue: Avonhead School, Avonhead Road, Avonhead
Time: 9.00 – 2.30pm each day (Report at 8.45am)

Please note We require the assistance of teachers or of parents of children attending the Holiday Course to help supervise the children during their two 30-minute breaks on each day of the course. Click here for more details


Dress Rehearsals

Attendance is compulsory
Date: Tuesday, 23 October to Friday, 26 October
Venue: Horncastle Arena, Jack Hinton Drive, Addington
Full details available here

Performance Mornings & Nights

Attendance is compulsory – times below to be confirmed at Holiday Course
Dates: 24 October – 26 October
Rehearsal Time: 8.30 – 10.30am (Report 30min before start time)
Evening reporting time: 7.30pm ready to start
Collection Time: 9.10pm