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Dust off your instrument and play! All instruments welcome–strings in particular. Get Involved!

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from the BathTub Orchestra!

Upcoming Concerts


Recent BathTub Orchestra Recordings

We have over 100 videos uploaded to the BathTub Orchestra YouTube channel!

Our Musicians

Of course, without musicians there is no music - meet some of our members:

Charlie: Flute

I'm 'retired', a granny, and a bipolar bear. As my family live a fair distance away, I'm in the lucky position of filling most of my days with 'fun' stuff.

I started playing flute, in Paris, in my twenties - my old teacher had bad breath and told me that playing flute would ultimately make my teeth fall out! But here I am still 'tooting' and not yet toothless!!

I sing with Bath Rock Choir, and am trying to learn to play ukulele. Music is at the heart of my days - it's been my only 'medication' for a number of years, keeping anxiety at bay and filling up my heart and spirit. 

Emma: Cornet

 I hadn't given my cornet playing much thought after I finished my teaching degree (many) years ago! In 2022, I saw an advert on Facebook about a community band who rehearsed close to my home.  After lockdown, I was looking at doing an activity in the evenings and this looked perfect. I'm so glad I went along. The orchestra was very welcoming and people of all playing abilities were there. 

Since joining I have had the opportunity to play a wide range of music and at many different venues. The photo of me was taken at the Bath carnival which was SUCH FUN!! I had forgotten how wonderful it is to play as part of a group and I look forward to rehearsals every week. 

Check us out on YouTube!

Matthew: Flute

I started learning the flute about a decade ago, but eventually stopped playing to focus on my GCSEs. A decade later, in-between university semesters, I decided to try again and it all returned to me. Once I got back on campus I danced in a cèilidh (a traditional Scottish/Irish dance), and found myself joining the wonderful Southampton Folk Society, where I learned to perform music for others.

However, that was my final year at university, and I had decided to move to Bath for work. This meant saying goodbye to my fellow folk musicians. Fortunately, not long after moving I discovered the BathTub Orchestra from a post on the Meetup app. I went along, was rather nervous, but I quickly warmed up to the challenge and felt very welcome!

Since then we have put on a large number of concerts covering all sorts of music from pop songs, jazz, blues, film soundtracks, to classical favourites. I have definitely grown as a musician and have also recorded many of our concerts, which you can find uploaded to YouTube and posted to my blog.

Nick: Bass guitar

Before I joined BathTub I was a bedroom guitarist for many years. I didn't have much experience playing in a group and had only played to an audience once in my life!

My musical 'career' started on electric guitar when I was 17 and my best friend showed me how to play Marilyn Manson's cover of Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics - I was hooked from that day! The next few years I played almost nothing but Metallica covers (Nothing Else Matters and Master Of Puppets being favourites) before moving on to playing more prog, including an instrumental four-piece band called 'PMMF!' (search on SoundCloud).

I started playing bass guitar in my early twenties and made my first ever live performance in 2009 at a work Christmas party in Washington D.C. with a band called Hot Shoop that I had formed with my wife.

I joined BathTub Orchestra when it first started in November 2018 when my wife said she wanted to join on clarinet. I was a bit nervous about joining because I didn't consider myself very experienced at playing in groups but the atmosphere is always very welcoming and it's fine to make a few mistakes in rehearsals.

We really enjoy our Tuesday rehearsals and it has been great to get some more experience playing in front of live audiences in Bath.

Pete: Guitar

 

I had never really done much musically as a child, but for my 15th birthday I asked for an electric guitar. It was the late 70s when punk was popular. I formed a band with three school friends, with me as singer and rhythm guitarist. We learned a few easy covers - ‘Road Runner’ by Jonathan Richman, as it only had two chords, and songs by The Monkees and David Bowie, along with a few of our own punk compositions. Sadly we never played a gig.

I tried a few times to get going with guitar but in the end I decided it wasn’t for me and joined a choir instead. But taking part in the choir seemed to unlock something, and I joined a group guitar lesson with six other people. Most of us were middle-aged and started with only basic skills, but under the guidance of our teacher we made progress and even played two gigs at the local town fayre. Over a few years the group gradually dispersed, so I continued with 1: 1 lessons, but I really wanted to play with others.

I spotted a poster for the BathTub Orchestra and joined up. Although I found it a little daunting at first, it has been great. People are friendly and supportive - if you make mistakes, the philosophy is that nobody singles you out, and if you get stuck there’s always advice available. It does feel like we are all in it together. There is a nice social side too with occasional organised events, but it’s entirely up to you how much you get involved in that. I’ve now done 11 gigs, covering formal concerts, village festivals, Bath Christmas Market, Bath Carnival and a care home. It’s a lot of fun!

Roger: Trombone

I enjoy playing with the BathTub Orchestra because playing with a large group of people is so much more enjoyable than playing alone. Furthermore, the BathTub Orchestra has some really talented musicians who are able to inspire relative beginners, such as myself.

Tony: Keyboard

I grew up as a child with this old German piano but never played it or anything else until I inherited it from my father in 2009 and decided to begin lessons. My only regret is that I didn't start when I was younger! It's been a steep learning curve as I worked my way through the grades towards grade 4 and then decided I didn't want to take any more exams! In a moment of madness I suggested to my piano teacher that it would be great to start an informal orchestra for people of all abilities to fulfill my fantasy of playing with others and having loads of fun too. Edward my teacher is now the orchestra director and the rest, as they say is history.

I can't deny its been a challenge at times for a late learner like me, but I am amazed to be playing music that I never thought I could play, and in front of audiences too! I am also amazed at the amount of time I have spent practicing, and I sometimes have to pinch myself that I have achieved so much in just a few years. I will never be a musical maestro, but who cares? I can actually play stuff with others, it sounds pretty good if I work at it, and it's hugely enjoyable.

Rob: Alto saxophone


I was lucky enough to start playing the Alto Saxophone at a school which had some great music teachers and fantastic bands.  Before I left school, I was playing in a band every day of the week, Jazz, Wind bands, and a dodgy covers band. But as work and family became the priority, I stopped playing.

20 years later, walking past Green Park, my wife saw a poster about a new orchestra forming (no auditions required!) and suggested I give it go. So off I went nervously to the first rehearsal and re-found the joy of making music with a group. My time with the orchestra has improved and developed my playing, allowing me to play scores I wouldn’t have previously had the confidence to tackle.

The group is a lovely mix of people with different levels of experience and skills, and together we are the BathTub Orchestra.

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From first meeting to debut performance!

From 23rd October 2018 to 30th November 2018, we made the journey from a group of strangers to a fully fledged performing orchestra - that's just 6 weeks' practice! The first rehearsal... When Tony (keyboard) and Ed (musical director) decided to form an orchestra, they didn't know what to expect. So it must have been really pleasing to see around fourteen people show up for the first rehearsal. Everyone was a bit nervous - we were nearly all strangers - and we had quite a broad range of experience within the group. It was a bit like the first day at school! We'd had the music to practice for about a month beforehand so it was really exciting to go from practicing at home alone to playing with a room full of about fourteen other musicians - you could see the excitement on Ed's face when he heard the first bars of his arrangements being played back to him by a group of strangers. Practice, practice, practice You could really hear the sound develop each week as we star

New music for Autumn 2019

After five weeks off for summer, we're back with weekly rehearsals, new songs and getting ready for a Christmas concert. Writing a few days after our first rehearsal since the summer break, this post introduces the latest music of BathTub Orchestra. Dusting off that instrument Five weeks feels like such a long time so I was really looking forward to picking up my bass guitar and rehearsing with everybody again (I confess I spent far more time relaxing on holiday than playing during the break). While most of us were enjoying our summer holidays, our musical director Edward had been hard at work arranging our latest new pieces... On Her Majesty's Secret Service We already have Mission Impossible in our repertoire, so it's exciting to add another classic theme tune. Composed by John Barry, this is the only Bond theme which is completely instrumental and I think it sounded pretty good during our first run through. We Have All The Time In The World This ballad was featured in th

The 2023 Creative Bath Awards

We are proud to share that we were nominated for the 2023 Creative Bath Awards in the Performance category! The Creative Bath Awards celebrate the amazing talent and creativity of Bath. We thank the Creative Bath team for organising this fantastic event and for choosing us as finalists. We also congratulate all the other nominees and the winners for their amazing work and achievements. We are the BathTub Orchestra, a friendly community orchestra in Bath that plays everything from pop songs to classical favourites. We started in October 2018 and since then we have been exploring different genres and styles, from pop songs, jazz, blues, film soundtracks and classical favourites. We welcome players of all levels and ages, and we have a lot of fun making music together. If you want to join us or find out more about us, please get involved via our website   or follow us on   Facebook , Instagram , or YouTube .