The Vale Royal String Orchestra was formed in 1993 by Margaret Parks-Smith, violin and David Whalley, cello. Margaret hosted us in her very large lounge and from there the friendly but enthusiastic attitude, which continues to this day, was engendered. Then Margaret moved into a smaller house and the orchestra was lucky to to find our present convenient rehearsal venue in Appleton Thorne, near Warrington.

We perform regularly at venues within Cheshire and Merseyside where we have covered much of the string orchestra repertoire.

Robert Hull became our resident conductor in 1993 and never missed a performance. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and Bob chose to hang up his baton on the 13 July 2003 at St. Helen's church in Northwich. We susequently enjoyed playing under the baton of Richard Howarth for the following 6 years. Again, we were sad to lose an excellent conductor after the Middlewich concert in March 2009 but Richard could no longer include our infrequent rehearsals in his increasingly busy conducting schedule. Fortunately, Richard was able to recommend Tim Crooks, who conducted until the Gt. Budworth Church in 2010. The 2010 - 2011 season was divided into two 8 rehearsal periods. Louise Latham conducted the first and Tim Crooks returned to conduct the second period. The 2011 - 2014 seasons have been divided in the same way between Louise Latham and the Spanish conducter, Juan Antonio Ortuno. The 2014 - 2015 seasons have been conducted similarly, except that Juan Antonio's schedule became too busy. So, this time we were able to enjoy young Italian conductor, Marco Bellasi, for period 2.

The orchestra plays purely for the love of music and the members receive no payment. In fact, we pay an annual subscription to cover general costs and subscribe to various charities from concert profits.


Recognise the music? We've played it!