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Peebles Orchestra was formed in 1976 and continues to play an important part in the cultural life of the area.

As well as players from Peeblesshire, others travel from all over the Borders and Lothians to play in this friendly ensemble, meeting regularly to play a wide repertoire of music under skilled conductors. Two concerts are presented annually in autumn and spring, with additional events from time to time.

Our guest conductors, many of whom work regularly with the orchestra, are active in devising interesting programmes, which challenge players and delight our audiences. Our concerts present a wide variety of great symphonic works from the classical repertoire, ranging from small scale baroque to large choral concerts involving over 100 instrumentalists and singers. As well as standard symphony concerts, the Orchestra has presented concerts with a difference – the very popular Concert for Children; a sell-out performance of Peter and The Wolf; a romantic Viennese Valentine; classical accordion and guitar in contemporary music by Piazzola, Gordon Jacob and Rodrigo; a Come and Sing! Mozart Requiem with a scratch choir of more than 80 local singers; and Orchestra For All, a series of rehearsals and a concert for all players, any instrument, any ability, free of charge, attended by over 50 local musicians.

Soloists on every instrument of the orchestra have taken their place on the rostrum. While also welcoming soloists well-known on the Scottish concert circuit, including internationally renowned soloists from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, it has been a thrill to have young musicians from Peebles playing solos with the Orchestra, some of whom began their orchestral career in our own Youth Orchestra. A number of our young players have gone on to embrace professional careers in music - Peebles Orchestra can certainly claim some credit for their success!

The Orchestra enjoys the challenge of contrasting programmes and after over 40 years we continue to develop and explore new repertoire and still find every concert fresh and exciting.

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