The hertfordshire chamber orchestra was founded in 1966 by keen amateur musicians who had enjoyed making music in various university orchestras and wanted to continue playing after graduation. Players were initially recruited through university contacts. However, over the five decades since the orchestra played its first concert players have continued to recommend and bring along friends and colleagues. Whilst some of the players work in music education, the majority of players are from a wide variety of professions working in and around London.
The orchestra attracts both experienced professionals and young upcoming conductors and soloists to perform with us. During the life of the orchestra, it has performed many of the works of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries suitable to our size. It has given concerts and radio broadcasts in the UK, Belgium, Greece and Malta and Spain as well as in Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It has accompanied a number of different choral societies including the Crouch End Festival Chorus, the Cambridgeshire Choral Society and most recently the Islington Choral Society. It has performed in many towns in Hertfordshire. Elsewhere outside London it has performed in Ely, Cambridge, Chatteris and Llandrindod Wells. In London it has performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St John's Smith Square, St Paul's Covent Garden, St Giles Cripplegate, and most recently at St Mary-at-Hill in the city.
Former musical directors have included Sir Andrew Davis, Nicholas Collon and Edmon Colomer, now the president of the orchestra. Our most recent conductors have been Graham Ross and James Murray. Paul Barritt regularly directs the orchestra from the leader's seat as well as playing concertos.