Amateur orchestra in Houston

March 22, 2018, 11:57 PM · Hi everyone,

It is looking like I’ll be relocating from the UK to Houston in the next few months with my work. I’m really keen to try to carry on playing as much as I can once I’m settled over there as it will be so useful for meeting likeminded people and making friends.
Any readers who are from Houston on here with any recommendations l? I haven’t had a huge amount of success Googling so am worried that maybe amateur Orchestra playing isn’t such a big thing out there?


Replies (8)

Edited: March 23, 2018, 12:39 AM · I don't live in Houston, but I'm from there. It's a sprawling city; the metropolitan area is literally the size of Belgium. So it might help the Houstonians if you can tell us what part of Houston will you be living and working in.

If you're working in the energy industry (as many British expats in Houston do), then the Energy Corridor of Houston Orchestra may be fairly close to your home or workplace. That's the one orchestra I'm somewhat familiar with.

March 23, 2018, 1:30 AM · Good point re location! I’ll be working near Greenspoint (yes O&G company) and looking to live around the Spring/Woodlands or maybe Kingswood areas.
Thanks for your response.
March 23, 2018, 5:23 AM · The American search term you are looking for is "community orchestra". Plug in location and that phrase into Google. (Even just "Houston community orchestra" will get you lots of results.)

March 23, 2018, 7:27 AM · Thanks Lydia, hadn't occurred to me that 'amateur' was perhaps a more British term to use when searching for these things.
Found a good few orchestras to consider, although they all require auditions which is not something I've had to do over here before. Best keep practicing!
March 23, 2018, 8:42 AM · Auditions in community orchestras vary widely. Some are similar to professional auditions, and at the other end they can be as informal as just "play something." In many community orchestras, they just want to see that you're at least an intermediate level player, i.e. able to play cleanly and with decent tone quality, and comfortable in third position and maybe one or two higher.
March 23, 2018, 9:04 AM · Most community orchestras are perpetually in need of string players. Your bio says you got your Grade 8, which means you should have no problem getting into most community orchestras, but your audition is going to determine whether you sit 1st or 2nd violin. (If that's about the level of your current playing, 2nd violin is more likely.)

Your Grade 8 repertoire will probably do just fine for auditions.

April 10, 2018, 7:52 AM · My Grade 8 repetoire was Mendelssohn slow movement, Wieniawski Legende and Bach Presto from G minor - I wouldn't attempt ANY of them now. And hope to play properly!
April 22, 2018, 10:14 AM · There are a few amateur orchestras in and around Houston. ("community orchestras" is the prevailing lingo here)

If you're going to live Spring/Woodlands, then is probably your best bet. I've never heard them (I want to audition and play someplace other than my practice area, but never seem to be able to get to one of their concerts to see if it's a reasonable thing to do.)

Kingswood is a bit of a drive from that group, but Houstonians tend not to think it's all that far.

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